Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat slam Haryana govt’s cash reward policy

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Chandigarh, June 26 (IANS) Slamming the BJP government’s new cash reward policy in Haryana for sportspersons winning medals for India, international wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat on Wednesday called the decision an attempt to kill sports.

“When you promise reward to a player, it is not money that you promise but support,” Punia tweeted.

“If you cannot fulfill your commitment, then what will any player expect from you in the future,” he added.

Punia’s assertions came in the wake of government’s new policy that says that “in case a sportsperson wins more than one medal during a financial year, he/she will receive full award money for the highest medal and at least 50 per cent of the award money for the second and the subsequent medals.”

The sportspersons believe that the reduced prize money means that the government has failed to fulfil its promises.

Coming in support of Punia, another wrestler Vinesh Phogat tweeted: “I request the Haryana government to take back your money. Don’t let the players stand on your political arena and humiliate them.”

Like Punia and Phogat, there are other athletes in the state who are affected by the new policy.

But adamant Sports Minister Anil Vij said the rewards are given as per the new sports policy that has been in force.

“The prizes have been given in accordance with the sports policy. We have clearly mentioned in the citation that if any player finds any discrepancy in the prize-money, he/she can approach us,” Vij told the media.

About last week’s decision to cancel the felicitation ceremony, he said awarding prizes to 3,000 athletes wasn’t possible, so the government decided to cancel it.

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