Bandipora, March 12: In violation of its own circular, the Department of Youth Services and Sports Bandipora held inter-block cricket and football tournaments without conducting the block (inter-panchayat) tier.
The circular, issued from the office of District Youth Services and Sports Officer, dated March 6, mentions that the block level events shall start from March 11 while inter-block tier would go on from March 17 at various venues across the district. However, on Wednesday, the event began directly with inter-block cricket competition taking place at Patusahy ground.
Calling it a ‘hoax’, the players asked where will the funds, meant for panchayat tier of tournament, go.
“If this event was to be held first at inter-panchayat level and later on among the blocks, why they directly started inter-block competition?” Imran Mir, a youth, questioned.
“Also, where will the funds go? There would have been several matches taking place at inter-panchayat before going into inter-block level? This is a complete hoax. ” He added.
The players will be paid 150 INR per match as refreshment and transport charges, an official said, adding, “18 members of each team including coach and manager will get this amount.” With a healthy amount of money being spent in the events, the skipping of inter-panchayat matches raises eyebrows.
“Although we welcome the initiative but it should go on in a proper way. More players and teams would have got an opportunity to showcase the skills if the event had taken place at block level.” Another young player asserted.
Since the event aims to indulge youth in sports, the players above 25 years of age aren’t allowed to participate. However, keeping it just as an ‘on-paper’ thing, eyewitnesses complained that there were a lot of older players playing this tournament.
“How is this event meant for youth? There were several aged players playing. I would rather say most of them looked above 25.” An eyewitness claimed.
On contacting Khursheed Ahmad Shah, in-charge of the event, he said organising inter-panchayat tier wasn’t possible due to thickness of teams.
“There are a large number of panchayats in Bandipora. Organising this event at inter-panchayat level would have taken us months together. So, we decided to directly commence the inter-block competitions.” He said.
When asked about the above 25-year-old’s featuring in the tournament, the in-charge denied it, saying, “No ways. Only eligible players are playing in the tournament.”