Govt blow to cue sports

Delivering a blow to the cuesports fraternity in the country, the government has withdrawn funding for the sport as it is “not a part of the Asian Games or the Olympics’.

Government funds were predominantly used to send players abroad for tournaments and with some important events coming up, the players will take a hit, according to the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India.

“We got a letter from SAI (Sports Authority of India, New Delhi) saying that they are withdrawing funds because we are not an Olympic sport,” said S Balasubramaniam, honorary secretary of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India, on Wednesday. “We have pending funds which we can use till the World Billiards championship but the World Snooker and the World Ten-ball pool championships are going to be a problem.

Further explaining the consequences of the government move, Balasubramaniam said: “This will affect the sport badly. It’s going to be hard for us to function without these funds. We have forwarded the mail to players as well and I’m sure they are taking it hard. Especially the guys who were supposed to be going to Bulgaria for the World Snooker championship will face a problem.”

When asked if the BSFI will look to discuss the matter with the government regarding the funds, Balasubramaniam said they were planning exactly that. “Hopefully we can do something about it. We will certainly look into it.”

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