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Probe into age fudge

Imphal, Nov. 28: The Manipur youth affairs and sports department has ordered a probe into the alleged overage players fiasco in the state under-14 Subroto Cup team. The Manipur team was disqualified from the meet held in New Delhi last month after several of its players were detected overage.

Sports minister N. Biren Singh ordered the setting up of an inquiry panel to trace those behind the incident.

Speaking at a reception organised at the Khuman Lampak stadium recently for 16 sportspersons who excelled in international events, Singh said the committee would have to find out whether the doctors were at fault or if there was any favouritism at play during selection.

Biren Singh said Manipur had lifted the Subroto Cup three times and it was shameful that its image was tarnished in such a manner. “It really shocked me that of the 16 players selected as many as 10 were found to be overage,” the minister said.

He did not spare his department officials, stressing that the functioning of the youth affairs and sports wing needed streamlining.

The international players who were feted include Mr Asia Junior N. Kishan Singh, who was promised Rs 15,000; archer L. Bombayla Devi who was gifted Rs 20,000; weight-lifter Mangte Parneichang Kom who will take home Rs 18,000; kickboxer Md Amir Khan who won Rs 15,000 and taekwondo player S. Surbala Chanu who was rewarded with Rs 13,000.

Judokas who brought home laurels from the 1st Asi-an Youth Judo Championship included N. Romen Singh, L. Sandhya, I. Nirmala Devi, Kh. Hemabati, H. Sunibala Devi, N. Shantimala Devi and Kh. Kalpana Devi who were awarded Rs 15,000 each, and Kh. Chaoba Devi, Kh. Yaima and O. Bidyalaxmi Devi who were assured Rs 13,000 each.

Boxer P. Narjit Singh, who struck gold in 4th World Military Games in Hyderabad, was on the felicitation list but not entitled to incentives as the event was not included in the sports affairs curriculum.

Biren Singh said the incentives would be given to the players on Sanaroisingi Numit, or Sportspersons’ Day on February 25 next year.

Youth affairs and sports commissioner Ch. Birendra Singh and Manipur Olympic Association president Elangbam Binoykumar also spoke on the occasion.

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