Ministry urges NSFs to field best athletes in SAG

The Union Sports Ministry has urged various National Sports Federations (NSFs) to field their best athletes in the South Asian Games (SAG) to be held in Guwahati and Shillong from February 5 to 16.

Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who heads the SAG Organising Committee, said the event has generated a lot of “enthusiasm” among South Asian countries as well as in the north-eastern part of India..   -  K. MURALI_KUMAR

The Union Sports Ministry has urged various National Sports Federations (NSFs) to field their best athletes in the South Asian Games (SAG) to be held in Guwahati and Shillong from February 5 to 16.

In a letter to various NSFs, the Sarbananda Sonowal-headed Ministry has said that the SAG has generated a lot of “enthusiasm” among South Asian countries as well as in the north-eastern part of India.

“There is a lot of interest in sports in North-East in hockey, football, boxing, archery, athletics, badminton and wrestling. There have been media queries as to whether the best Indian teams will take part in events of SAG 2016. You will appreciate that in view of the importance of SAG 2016 and the interest it has generated, it will be desirable to field the best possible team for Games,” said the letter to NSFs.

The Ministry has also asked the Sports Authority of India (SAI) “to field best athletes in archery, triathlon, boxing, basketball and taekwondo as federations related to these sports have been suspended/derecognised by the Ministry.”

Union Sports Minister Sonowal, who has been projected as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief ministerial candidate for the forthcoming Assam elections, is also heading the SAG Organising Committee.