By T.B. Rahaman
The thirteen junior badminton players who were selected through dubious means left yesterday to participate in the Asian U-19 Badminton Championship in Korea starting tomorrow.
The team that was selected amid much controversy and opposition from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Sports were somehow able to obtain the necessary approval to proceed.
Approvals were obtained from the Sports Ministry and the Education Ministry though they had earlier refused to grant approval to proceed. It has been claimed that the two Ministries caved in to pressure by the government higher-ups.
Even a written order from the Ministry of Education signed by the Deputy Director of physical education and sports had been dumped in the dust bin.
The letter ordered a medical certificate, insurance and that no money should be collected from the players. But Ceylon Today learns that there was not much time to obtain a medical certificate and that Rs. 2000 was collected by each player for their insurance.
But the third ruling that no money should be collected from the players was ignored and tour officials had wanted Rs. 5000 from each player without a clear reason.
However, only a few players had given the donation of Rs. 5000 while some parents refused to pay the amount.