Category: Off the field

Squad announced for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Delhi, Apr 11: Hockey India today announced the Senior Men’s hockey team who will represent the country at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to begin in Ipoh, Malaysia on 29 April 2017.

Ahead of the national camp for the senior men’s core probable group, Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans had emphasized on giving juniors the right exposure with a vision of building a team that would bring laurels in the 2018 World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As a first step towards that goal, the Chief Coach has inducted four young players from the Indian Junior men’s team. While defender Gurinder Singh, midfielders Sumit and Manpreet who were part of the Junior World Cup winning squad are slated to make their debut at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, 21-year-old goalkeeper from Mumbai Suraj Karkera who was part of the junior squad that toured England in 2016 and participated in the EurAsia Cup in Russia and the Four-Nations Tournament last year too finds his name in the team.

The team also features drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh, Junior World Cup winning skipper Harjeet Singh and forward Mandeep Singh. The trio, who were instrumental in the Indian team’s success at the Junior World Cup, have played at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in the previous edition where India won a Silver after losing to Australia in the Final. “The idea was to try out new combinations ahead of the three important tournaments this year, which are the World League Semi Final, Asia Cup and the Odisha Men’s Hockey League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. We have a few tournaments before these big events like we play Belgium and Germany before we play the World League Semi Final and we play Belgium and Holland in August. These are good opponents against whom we can test ourselves to access whether the players are achieving what we expect out of them,” explained Oltmans.

The team will be led by India’s ace goalkeeper P.R Sreejesh who was recently conferred with the Padma Shri Award. Midfielder Manpreet Singh will be his deputy and he will be joined by the experienced Sardar Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Harjeet Singh, Sumit and Manpreet in the midfield.

The defence includes Rupinder Pal Singh, Pardeep Mor, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh and Gurinder Singh while the forwardline is formidable with S.V Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Affan Yousuf, Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh. “We will bring a team to Malaysia which is a mixture of experienced and young players some of whom have played in the senior squad earlier. It is a challenge for us to see where we stand with the new team combination compared to other teams like Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand. They also will bring new players. I don’t expect Malaysia and Japan to have too many changes in their teams and I think they play the same players as they did at the Asian Champions Trophy last October,” said Oltmans.

He further stated that a new team will have its own challenges in the course of the tournament but the ultimate goal is to get the best results for the country. “It will be interesting to see how these teams are developing and also access our own progress. We need to pay attention to the structure we are looking for and it takes time to make everyone aware of what the demands of the structure are specially when new players are coming in. Though most of them are responding very well, I believe there will be some ups and downs in the tournament but the aim is to have the best possible result,” he concluded.

1. P.R. Sreejesh (C)
2. Suraj Karkera
3. Pardeep Mor
4. Surender Kumar
5. Rupinderpal Singh
6. Harmanpreet Singh
7. Gurinder Singh

8. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam
9. Sumit
10. Sardar Singh
11. Manpreet Singh (VC)
12. Harjeet Singh
13. Manpreet

14. SV Sunil
15. Talwinder Singh
16. Mandeep Singh
17. Affan Yousuf
18. Akashdeep Singh
with inputs from Hockey India

Valencia expected to start academy in Chennai

Chennai, Apr 06: La Liga giants Valencia CF are likely to launch academy in Chennai. Also, plans a friendly match in India.

“This will be our first international football academy in India. We could have chosen other cities, but the CFA convinced us that this was the right place,” Valencia’s chief marketing and commercial officer Damia Vidagany, who was at the Jawaharlal Nehru ground on Wednesday to watch a local league match, told.

The CFA officials, too, are excited at the prospect of Valencia’s involvement in Chennai football. “If things go according to plan, the academy should be in place by 2018.

(based on inputs from AIFF)

Government designates Olympians as National Observers

New Delhi, Mar 20: Government has designated the following Olympians as National Observers for the disciplines mentioned against each of them:-

S. No.

Sports Disciplines Name of National Observers



Ms. P.T. Usha

Ms. Anju Bobby George



Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Singh



Ms. Aparna Popat



Ms. Mary Kom

Shri Akhil Kumar



Shri Jagbir Singh



Shri Abhinav Bindra



Shri Somdev Devvarman



Ms. Karnam Malleshwari



Shri Sushil Kumar



Shri I. M. Vijayan



Shri Khajan Singh


Table Tennis

Shri Kamlesh Mehta

The National Observers will assist the Government, Sports Authority of India, and National Sports Federations (NSFs) concerned including Indian Olympic Association in the preparation and implementation of the long term development plan with respect to high priority and priority sports covering all aspects including selection policy, quality specifications for National Camps, long term athlete development plan, coaching development, development of technical officials and monitoring & evaluation of athlete performance.  Apart from providing inputs for their respective disciplines, the National Observers would also to be consulted as a group on crosscutting issues impacting sports development in the country.

The National Observers would be playing a key role in implementation of action plans for Mission Olympics 2020, 2024 and 2028.

Warm Send off to Special Athletes Participating in World Winter Games 2017

New Delhi, Mar 10: A warm send off function was organized here today for the special athletes, their coaches and officials going to participate in the World Winter Games to be held from 14th – 25th March 2017 in Austria. Sports Minister and other dignitaries were present at the ceremony held at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here on Friday.

In his speech, Shri Vijay Goel said his ministry is providing financial assistance to “Special Olympics Bharat” for organizing national championship, coaching and training. He said for participation in upcoming World Winter Games, the government has incurred an expenditure of about Rs 1.5 crore to the contingent consisting of 90 athletes, 23 coaches and 3 officials.

Wishing best wishes to the contingent, Shri Goel said that these athletes have proved that by devotion and determination a person can achieve anything during his life. He expressed the hope that many of these special athletes will become a sporting star and bring glory to the nation.

Shri Goel said Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has desired that no citizen should be deprived from the opportunity to play and feel happy. All sections of the society should enjoy pleasure of participating in any sports activities of their choice to feel happy and healthy. The minister said Special Olympics Bharat is working in the right direction by promoting special athletes in Indian and International competitions.

Indian team for Shotgun World Cup announced

Olympian Kynan Chenai and ISSF World Cup 2017 silver medallist Ankur Mittal will lead a nine member Indian team for the ISSF Shotgun World Cup 2017 scheduled to be held in Acapulco, Mexico from March 17 to 27.

Shooters Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Sheeraz Sheikh, Seema Tomar, Rajeshwari Kumari, Manisha Keer, Sangram Dhaiya, Arti Singh and Saniya Sheikh have not been included in the team.

Acapulco will see a total of 216 shotgun shooters from 32 nations featuring in 224 starts for the five set of medals up for grabs.

There will also be an unofficial test event for the trap mixed team event.

The selection criteria for the Indian team for international events also take into account Minimum Travel Scores (MTS) achieved.

Team: Kynan Chenai (men’s trap), Ankur Mittal (men’s double trap), Angad Vir Singh Bajwa (men’s skeet), Shapath Bharadwaj (men’s double trap), Amrinder Cheema (men’s skeet), Rashmee Rathore (women’s skeet), Zoravar Singh Sandhu (men’s trap), Man Singh (men’s skeet), Birendeep Sodhi (men’s trap).

Roll Ball winners meet HRD Minister

New Delhi, Mar 8: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar congratulated the winners of 4th Roll Ball World Cup, which took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 17 to 23 February, 2017, in New Delhi on Wednesday.

India won the fourth edition of Roll Ball World Cup in both men’s and women’s category.

Roll Ball is played on skates and between two teams of 12 players. Only six players out of the 12 are allowed to play on court at a time. A player can hold the ball in one hand or both hands, but must dribble the ball while carrying it.

The game was created by Indian sports teacher Raju Dabhade in Pune, India. Dabhade is now the secretary of the International Rollball Federation.

Sports Ministry to constitute a committee to address grievances of women sportspersons

New Delhi, Mar 8: On the occasion of the International Women Day, the Sports Minister here today organized a conference on “Women and Sports in India” to deliberate upon various issues for encouraging more and more women to take up sports.

Speaking on the occasion, the Sports Shri Vijay Goel said his ministry provides equal assistance and incentives to both male and female athletes and there is no gender discrimination for training etc. He said Sports Authority of India in its Special Area Game Scheme has provided training to 807 women sports persons out of total 1862 sports persons.

Shri Goel announced that his ministry will constitute a high level committee to resolve the grievances and complaints of women sports persons under the chairmanship of Joint secretary Sports. The committee will comprise athletes, advocate, and senior officer of MYAS and sports journalist (all women).

He said women athletes, if they will have any complaint can approach the committee for their grievance redressal. He said his ministry follows a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment.

The daylong discussion was focused on creation of safe spaces for girls athletes and women coaches, zero tolerance towards sexual harassment in sports complex, inclusion of gender sensitization modules in coach training modules, women representation in sports institutions, federations and other sports bodies and gender parity in terms of support to women athletes.

Two-day AFI Executive Council Meeting begins in Delhi

New Delhi, February 25: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Executive Council members met on Saturday Hotel Mapple Emerald, New Delhi to discuss and approve various issues ranging from the planning of hosting the Asian Athletics Championships in Ranchi later this year to the selection of Indian athletes for upcoming international meets.

In a two-day meeting that began on Saturday, the AFI Executive Council decided to shift gears for the preparations of Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Ranchi, Jharkhand from July 1-4, 2017. The members of Executive Council unanimously agreed that preparations for the continental championships be put on priority and both State Government of Jharkhand and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports should be approached to speed up the preparations for the championships.

Adille J Sumariwalla, AFI President, said after the conclusion of proceedings at the day-one of the meeting, “We will meet Honourable Chief Minister of Jharkhand and Honourable Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mr. Vijay Goel in coming days to discuss preparations of the Asian Athletics Championships 2017. It will be the biggest athletics event of the year for us as 45-member federations of Asian Athletics Association will be taking part in the competition and we are determined to host one of the most successful continental championships in India.”

Embracing the idea of good governance to bring more transparency and accountability in the functioning of its affiliated member state associations, the AFI Executive Council also discussed in detail and approved for amendments in the constitutions of various state associations. The affiliated members are also directed to mandatorily set-up Women Anti-Harassment Committees and formation of Grievances Redressal Cells.

In another major decision taken on Saturday, the Executive Council also approved that only those athletes attending the National Camps or approved National Training Programmes will be eligible to represent the country at international levels. The Executive Council’s decision is a fallout of poor performances of Indian athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics who were not in approved training programmes but were selected on the basis of one-time sterling performances during trials and never repeated their best performance later at any stage. The Executive Council unanimously agreed that athletes who are monitored within the system should only be eligible for selection to represent the country at international level.

In respect, its most ambitious project, the annual National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet (NIDJAM), one of the biggest grass-root development sports programme in the country, the Executive Council decided that strict action will be taken against all such districts which fail to send teams in the future NIDJAM meets. In all, 316 districts participated in the 2016 NIDJAM meet held in Vishakhapatnam in November last year. The junior programme which provides U16 & U14 boys and girls a direct chance to compete at the National level is going on non-stop since 2003.

“NIDJAM is our flagship programme. The aim is to take athletics to every corner of the country and state units needs to work hard. They should ensure every district participates in this junior meet. The districts which fail repeatedly to participate in this programme will be calling for strict action against them as we want to tap talent from every part of the country and provide everyone a chance to practice athletics,” said AFI President.

On Sunday, the second and concluding day of the Meeting, a few more important decisions are expected to be taken by the Executive Council.

Gramin Khel Mahostav 2017

New Delhi, Feb 22: The Delhi Gramin Khel Mahotsav 2017 is being organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in association with Delhi Government from 25th to 31st March 2017, to invite the talent from rural areas of NCT of Delhi to come and participate in a multi-sport championship to promote the culture of sport in Delhi.

Announcing this here today Sports Minister Shri Vijay Goel said, a need has been felt to deepen the sports culture among the rural youth. The festival will help involve rural youth in large number to participate in popular sports and will encourage them to achieve excellence and adopt healthy life style.

He said these Games are intended to act as a catalyst to promote sports in rural areas of the entire country and are going to be replicated in other States and UTs as well.

Structure of the competitions will be as under:-

  1. Block Level
  2. Inter Block Competitions
  3. Final


Govt. Revokes Suspension of Deemed Recognition of IOA

Government has decided to revoke the suspension of deemed recognition of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) with immediate effect in the light of the corrective action taken by them in reversing its earlier decision making Abhay Singh Chautala and Suresh Kalmadi, Life Presidents of IOA. Since IOA has admitted the faux pas committed and regretted the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to all concerned, it is expected of IOA that it will uphold the highest standard of probity and ethics in its functioning in future.

In the light of the above developments and keeping in view the larger interest of promotion and development of sports in the country, the Sports Ministry has revoked the suspension of deemed recognition of IOA, imposed on 30.12.2016, with immediate effect.