By T.B. Rahaman
Youth badminton players who went to South Korea to participate in the Asian Under-19 championship are reported to be facing much difficulty on tour.
The hotel they have booked into does not serve breakfast and officials accompanying the tour party are said to have doled out money to players to purchase their meals from out.
“Food in Korea is very expensive and the children are puzzled as to how to manage their food with the money they were given”, an official on tour told Ceylon Today on condition of anonymity.
The players are also in a quandary as to who is to be selected to play against their opponents during the singles events.
Some good players were given only a few matches to play while the lower ranked players were pitted against stronger opponents.
One such player was defeated so badly that he could not even secure a single point and lost 0-21.
Even in the doubles events the best players who won a Silver medal last time had been separated. The players are puzzled as to who did the selections for their singles and doubles events before the tour could even begin.
Ceylon Today learns that selections were already done before the players had embarked and the draw list was given in an envelope to the management of the tour party. The tour management had to follow the instructions given to them in that envelope.
The tour that was in the balance became a reality after influential people used their clout to obtain approval from the Ministry of Sports and Department of Education.
This is also the second tour undertaken by these same players within two months. Besides, only those players who could afford to meet the expenses were taken along. The question asked is how could parents afford to raise Rs 400,000 in two months at a time the cost of living was soaring.