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Rio Olympics 2016: Hockey India writes to IOA seeking eight-member support staff for each of the Men's and Women's teams

Keeping the priorities of the hardworking Hockey units in mind, Narinder Dhruv Batra has made this appeal to the IOA.

Hockey India have performed brilliantly at the international stage in recent times

Narinder Dhruv Batra, president of Hockey India, on Wednesday, wrote a letter to the Indian Olympic Association(IOA) requesting them to grant approval for their demand of a team eight-member support staff to accompany each of the Men’s and Women’s outfits heading for the approaching Rio Olympics 2016.

Addressing the letter to N Ramachandran, President of the IOA and its secretary general Rajeev Mehta, Mr Batra was insistent on their plea and elucidated the reasons behind the same before going on to describe the undesired impact a refusal by the governing body might have on the morale of the Hockey units who have performed exceptionally well in the recent times and are expectant of receiving the country’s sports authorities’ support to the fullest. Therefore, any such denial of basic requirements to the Olympic-bound teams is likely to cause a direct and adverse outcome for the hardworking representatives of Indian Hockey.

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As reported by Firstpost, Batra was assertive in his letter to the IOA as he put forth HI’s side of the matter:

"The matter of the number of coaching and support staff accompanying each of the men's and women's teams has been addressed by Hockey India in its various correspondence to IOA. We request to utilise the permitted allocation of accreditation in the best interest of the athletes and by not doing so, IOA will be undermining all the preparations and hard work of the athletes."
“If the IOA indulges in compromising, then Hockey India will assume that the IOA has decided to demoralise the teams even before they have left for Olympic Games and then IOA should be prepared to take moral responsibility in case the teams are not able to give their best performance during the Olympics.”

The IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta acknowledged Hockey India’s appeal but was firm in his stance stating that the upper limit of accompanying officials is set at 40% of the total strength of qualified athletes and that cannot be altered on request. Since the country’s Sports Federations have nominated a considerably higher number, Mr Mehta called for a revision of the respective lists which need to be finalised by Friday, 24th June for the Rio Olympics 2016.

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