NEW DELHI: In a major boost to all the NSFs who have been unable to host their national championships for the year 2020-21, the Sports Ministry has granted them an extension of six months. This will also help players, especially the age-group, who would have missed out on competing in a nationals because of the pandemic.
In a circular issued by the ministry, which is in possession of this daily, the ministry has granted this six months relaxation period up to September 31 due to the pandemic. Usually, all NSFs have until the end of March 31 to conclude hosting of all nationals for a financial year. Some of the federations like hockey, archery, swimming are some of the sports that are yet to conduct their nationals both senior and age-group.
However, it is also mentioned that NSFs that will be conducting their nationals during this extension period will have to ensure that the eligibility criteria remains the same "assuming that the championships would have taken place as per original schedule". This will help all junior and sub-junior athletes as well
as they will not be forced to miss a year.
All sports bodies are eligible to receive funds released by the ministry for conducting these national championships and now with this extension, they can go about planning these meets once the coronavirus situation is under control. Quite a few federations have been unable to conduct the nationals like archery,
NSF fund allocation
A budgetary allocation of Rs 280 crore has been made for the scheme of assistance to NSFs for the financial year 2021-22 according to a Sports Ministry circular issued on Friday. The numbers represent a hike of 14.28 percent over the same scheme in the previous financial cycle. In 2020-21, the NSFs were given a funding of 245 crore while in 2019-20, the amount was 300.85 crore.
However, in the last cycle as well as the present one, the NSFs have not managed to spend the said funds in the manner expected due to the pandemic and how it affected their domestic calendar.
According to sources, this allocation figure will be evaluated in September once the Olympics conclude and the remaining funds will be released and the amount might be revised as well.