The chosen ones

After weathering years of criticism over its policy of sending jumbo delegations to international sporting events, one would have thought the Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) had learned its lesson. Apparently, NOC is completely immune to criticism, constructive or otherwise. For the seven athletes who are scheduled to take part in the Beijing Olympics that kicks off on August 8, over three times the number has been included as officials in the Nepali delegation. Among those making the trip are relatives of current and ex-NOC members.

Travelling and miscellaneous costs aside, each ‘official’ gets $40-$100 in daily allowance while the athletes who toil hard preparing for the big event pocket $16. It is a case of blatant discrimination and misuse of people’s money. Nepal’s sporting infrastructure is in shambles. Nepali athletes and coaches are in desperate need of international exposure. But the hard-earned money of Nepalis goes into financing luxury tours of those who have nothing to do with sports. With this state of affairs, it is not hard to grasp why the country is lagging even further behind in international sports with each passing year. Can the sports honchos explain why the wushu and takewondo players practising in halls that reek of human excrete fail to deliver the goods?