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SAI nod to hockey camp, AFI plan ignored

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has taken different approaches to sanctioning national camps. It has given the all-clear for the restart of the national camp of the men’s and women’s hockey teams from August 4, but has only extended the ongoing national camp for the Olympics-bound athletes in Patiala and Bengaluru. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had sent a proposal last week, seeking permission to start training for the Asian Championships, Asian Relay, World Relay and 2020 Asian and Commonwealth athletics, and the Olympics.

The proposal included a list of over 140 athletes, who were to be based in different centres, including Patiala, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru and PT Usha School in Kozhikode district. Thirty coaches were to oversee the training. However, SAI has only extended the athletics camp till September 30 for athletes already residing in Patiala and in Bengaluru.

SAI has cleared the hockey camp, for men’s squad of 33 players and eight support staff, and women’s squad with 24 players and seven staff, from August 4. The teams will have to serve a 14-day quarantine in the Bengaluru SAI campus, as per the state government norms.

List of instructions

Members of both teams have been told to book air tickets with Air India and to notify SAI about their travel schedule. SAI is in the process of coming up with a document of instructions for the players after they reach the facility.

The teams will directly head to their respective hostels, where their medical examination would be done. The plan is to conduct Rapid Antigen Covid tests on arrival. Quarantine will be mandatory irrespective of the test results. The campers will not be allowed to order food from outside. SAI will provide sanitisation, refreshments and hygiene kits in all the rooms.

No word on shooting camp

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is yet to send a proposal to start its camp for the core group for the Tokyo Olympics. NRAI had decided to restart training on August 1, but it is yet to approach SAI with a plan. It is understood that NRAI president Raninder Singh may decide on a fresh date to start training, possibly from the second week of August.