Jalandhar, September 6
In what could be a perfect and glaring example of why Punjab sportsmen have lagged behind nationally and internationally, loose equipment for badminton players has been recovered from the seven almirahs of the Punjab Badminton Association ( PBA) at Raizada Hansraj Badminton Stadium inaugurated on Tuesday.
The almirahs were opened in the presence of PBA Honorary Secretary Anupam Kumaria and Treasurer Ritin Khanna. PBA officials alleged that these items had been given to the PBA under contract with major brands for Punjab players representing in the North Zone and National Championships for the past eight years or so, but almost never had them. reached. They alleged that “only part of the equipment was given to a few players” who it was actually intended for.
They suspect that “some items could have been given to officers as bonds or sold illegally to dealers at half price, with most items being held in reserve for personal use by former PBA officials” .
PBA officials said the estimated cost of the recovered equipment is in the thousands of dollars. These include 25 kits, 61 T-shirts, 20 tracksuits, 26 shuttle boxes, 31 pairs of socks, backpacks, tops and bottoms, etc., from international companies including Yonex, Reebok and Adidas. A videography of the whole process was also made in front of the players, coaches and members of the PBA board.
PBA officials said: “The association had a sponsorship deal with big name companies from time to time. In accordance with the contract, the association obtains all these items from the companies. But previous teams didn’t distribute the items to those they were actually intended for. In fact, players from Punjab were spotted at the parade wearing different tracksuits even as sets of uniforms had been received from the companies.
Kumaria said, “Since all these items, including good quality rackets, shuttlecocks, court shoes, etc., are very expensive, not all players can afford them. Clearly due to the lack of equipment, our Punjab players have not performed well in the past when there was no transparency and no one knew that the equipment was actually coming for top promising players for free. Since we took over, at least two players from Ludhiana and one from Jalandhar have started to show performances at national and international level.
Rajinder Kalsi, former honorary secretary of the PBA, chose not to respond as he said, “I don’t want to comment on the matter at this stage.”
Those who ran PBA need to explain themselves
Those who have remained at the head of the association for 35 years owe an explanation. Yonex had even terminated the contract with the PBA in 2019. We started probing everything when we took over the PBA in April. — Ritin Khanna, PBA Treasurer