The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rs 20 lakh for Indian boys

New Delhi: Impressed with the under-19 boys’ recent successes, the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) Monday announced a cash incentive of Rs 20 lakh for the junior team.

The amount will be given to them for their title triumph in the Asian Volleyball Championship in April and their second-place finish in the world U-19 championship in Thailand which concluded Sunday.

This was announced here by VFI president Sivanthi Adityan.

In the Asian Youth Championship held in Visakhapatnam in April, India had beaten Iran 3-1 in the final to emerge champions.

VFI secretary K. Murugan said the sports ministry should help the game in the country. “The ministry has a strange attitude towards the game. We are playing so well in several competitions but still we are not getting adequate funds for promotion of the game,” he said.

“We were surprised when one poor performance in an international meet prompted the ministry to deny clearance to the volleyball team for the Asian Games in Busan. VFI was forced to send the team to Busan on its own,” he said. “Playing good one day and rank bad another day happens to every team including the cricket and hockey teams,” Murugan said.

“Our aim is 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. We are hopeful that the u-19 players can prove their mettle at the highest level once they get a chance.”

On the arrival here coach G. E. Sridharan said: “No doubt it is quite disappointing to lose in the final despite putting up a brave fight. But our performance has made the world aware of what we can do in future.”

Though India put up a spirited performance in the final and even took lead in the first two sets, they faltered at the end to lose the match 1-3.

“You cannot afford to make mistakes against teams like Brazil who have won the title six times so far. Though we played really well to beat Brazil in the league match, unfortunately we made a few errors in the final which proved decisive in the end,” said the coach.

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