The Sports Ministry in India has issued a stern warning to athletes regarding sports grants. India has made it clear that it will not give sports grants to those players who are not available to play for India when they are needed.
The announcement has come on the heels of the Asian Games that had some tennis players missing. The players made the decision to play in ATP events rather than in the Asian Games as had been the original plan. The Sports Ministry noted that these games only come up every four years, and they expect Indian players that have received government grants to put the India team before their personal goals. The Ministry did not specify the names of the players that pulled out of the Asian Games, however, it had been widely publicized which tennis players had done so.
In a statement from the Sports Ministry, it was noted: “However, it was noticed while finalising the Indian contingent for the Incheon Asian Games, that senior and rank holding sportspersons of some disciplines decided to pull out, preferring to play in prize-money tournaments instead of participating in the Asian Games.”
There are, however, those who disagree with the Sports Ministry. It is felt that when an individual tennis player does well and wins a title, India is also given the recognition. The Sports Ministry would prefer that the top players play in tournaments in which they can earn medals for India rather than in prize-money tournaments as individuals. While it is understandable that the government does not want to give grants to those who are not available to represent India in sports tournaments, it is also important that players get exposure and the top competition that can only found in the international arena.