Controversy follows badminton with every turn they undertake. This time with the tour to Thailand where eight boys and eight girls were sent to participate in the Asian Junior Badminton Championships that was held from 28th June to 5th July.
They were to participate in the mixed team event and in the individual event with five officials accompanying the 16 member playing team. Was so many members picked for this squad to give them a joy ride?
Browsing through the website for results of that tournament revealed that the Sri Lankan youth had not fared too well. Although they took eight boys and eight girls only two boys and two girls played in the mixed team event. They lost to China 0/5, lost to Taipei 0/5, Hong Kong 0/5 but the only consolation was their win over Kazakhstan 5/0.
However, in the individual event the Sri Lankan players could not go beyond the second round. Most of them lost in the first round.
Finances for this tour was raised by the parents of these players. Each parent was asked to raise Rs. 70,000 if they wished to send their child on this tour. So was the best team selected to represent the country?
However, it was understood that the Asian Badminton Confederation had offered a grant for only six players to cover part of their air fare and bed and breakfast in a hotel. They also had offered US$ 10 for nine days for each of these six players. Who pocketed these funds, only officials of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association will know.
The Nation also learns that the Sports Ministry had approved Rupees one million for this tour. Was this money given to the touring team and what happened to this money?
Selections for this tour have been made by the Schools Badminton Association and why did they pick as many as five officials for this tour? Is it to give many of them a tour of pleasure or to look after the interests of the players on tour?