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However, they reversed the decision soon after SAI agreed to pay for the flights.
According to SAI director general Gopal Krishna, the government had sanctioned Rs5.5 crore for hockey for the ongoing financial year. However, Hockey India has already spent Rs 11.77 crore, Krishna said.
"If we overspend in one sport, we are answerable to the other federations as well. We have granted them airfare this time as we did not wish the team to suffer but henceforth, there will be no such exception," Krishna said.
The SAI DG said that Hockey India was told that the government won't fund the team's trip to Malaysia during a meeting in October. "They had accepted it back then," Krishna added. However, Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra said: " The topic of India's participation in Azlan Shah was never raised in the meeting in October as the tournament was originally scheduled for May. Since it is now in March, Hockey India wrote to SAI in January and requested that they pay for air tickets." —(ENS)
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