Today 3 ex-olympians Nikhil Nandy, Badru Banerjee and Balaram held a press conference in Calcutta Sports Journalist Club on behalf of the 9 players whom AIFF has send a grant of Rs. 25000 each. On 23rd February, Indian Sports Minister M.S. Gill felicitated 9 surviving members of 1956 Melbourne Olympics team, which finished fourth, in New Delhi. The players were Badru Banerjee, S. S. Narayan, Salam, Ahmed Hussain, Nikhil Nandy, P. K. Banerjee, Keshto Pal, Balaram and Julfikar.
The next day, i.e. on 24th February, the players met with AIFF Secretary Alberto Colaco in Football House, New Delhi. The ex-players put up a proposal of pension scheme and railway gold pass for ex-olympians and ex-indian international players similar to what BCCI does for ex-Indian cricket players.
On 26th February, the ex-players got a letter from Colaco where it was written that their proposal has been passed on to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Sports Joint Secretary Srinivasan, but after that time passed and even though Badru Banerjee contacted Colaco repeatedly, there was no step taken. Suddenly few days back on July 28th, all of them got a cheque of Rs. 25,000 as grant each from Football Federation.
The ex-players were very hurt and today they organized a press conference in Calcutta Sports Journalist club. Captain of 1956 Olympic team and recently awarded Mohun Bagan Ratna Badru Banerjee said, "We asked for a pension scheme and railway pass and we are insulted by the cheque which has been sent to us. We did not beg any money from them." Tulsidas Balaram said, "We are not beggars that we will accept this cheque. We are returning back the cheque to Federation. We will see how the AIFF reacts after hearing this from media and then, if needed, we will approach the Union sports ministry."
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.