After Indian men’s hockey team coach Harendra Singh complained about the poor quality food and hygiene level at Sports Authority of India center in Bengaluru, SAI Director General Neelam Kapur on Tuesday said that orders have been issued to take corrective actions.
“We are deeply concerned about the quality of food and hygiene in the SAI centers. The problem in Bengaluru has come to the notice earlier during the Minister’s visit in March this year. Orders had already been issued to take corrective action which includes hiring a new cook, ensuring the quality of raw food supply and improving hygiene,” Neelam said.
Neelam further revealed that she called an urgent meeting of regional heads of SAI to review the standard operating procedures and lay down strict protocols.
“An urgent meeting has been called in of all the Regional Heads of SAI to review the standard operating procedures and to lay down strict protocols. Regional Directors will be held accountable to ensure quality food and hygiene. Monitoring systems are being put in place including surprise checks. Strict action will be taken if any complaints are received,” she said.
Earlier, Harendra Singh had written a letter to Hockey India complaining about the poor quality of food and hygiene level at the SAI center in Bengaluru.
“I would like to bring to your kind notice that food quality at Bangalore SAI center has been well below par with a professional unit – excessive oil and fat throughout, bones with lack of meats. Moreover insects, bugs and hair were also found in the food. Sir, I would also like to inform you that hygiene part has also been neglected,” Harendra had written in his mail.
Harendra further revealed that they had conducted blood tests of all 48 athletes– who are currently training at SAI center in Bengaluru ahead of the Champions Trophy– and that the results have revealed a food-related deficiency in some of the players.
The chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team had also pointed out that the quality of food is sub-standard despite Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore had given instructions during his visit to the center prior to the 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games in April.
He had concluded his mail by requesting Hockey India to look into the matter and help in resolving the problem as soon as possible.
Soon after receiving the complaint, Hockey India president Rajinder Singh had written to President of Indian Olympic Association Narinder Dhruv Batra, saying that such issues affect the performance of the players at the optimum level while also requesting their indulgence in the matter.
In reply to the letter from Harindra Singh and Hockey India, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra wrote to SAI Director General Neelam Kapur to address the issue seriously.
On a related note, India are slated to play Champions Trophy from June 23 to July 1 in Breda, Netherlands.
With inputs from ANI