CHENNAI: The opening ceremony of the 13th South Asian Games is scheduled on Sunday but, India has seemingly not decided its flag-bearer yet. Ironically, neither Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials nor the chef de mission have any clue.“The volleyball teams have reached here and other team teams will reach according to their schedule. Given the fixtures, the national team from various disciplines will start arriving from Friday,” chef de mission Dushyant Sharma told this daily from Kathmandu.
Sharma, president of Jammu and Kashmir Wrestling Association and joint-secretary of Wrestling Federation of India, however, said IOA can only reveal who will be the flag-bearer for the country in the Games. IOA officials came up with vague responses.
The national Olympic body has already come under scanner when the organisers rejected the Indian taekwondo team’s entry for the event. The organisers relented on Wednesday with World Taekwondo Federation and International Olympic Committee asking Nepal Olympic Committee to allow Indian taekwondo athletes.
Ad-hoc bodies in karate and archery meant athletes from these disciplines had already been denied entry. With the sports ministry yet to sanction its request for financial assistance, the IOA was forced to instruct teams to contact official travel agent to book tickets and apparel partner for kits. The sports ministry though is likely to accord its sanction for the participating athletes soon.