Better planning needed, says Virwani

Better planning needed, says Virwani

ALL SMILES Chairman and managing director of Embassy group Jitu Virwani (left) with Asian silver medalist Fouaad Mirza during a press conference on Thursday. DH Photo

Equestrian Federation of India vice-president (finance) Jitu Virwani, on Thursday, called for more focus and better planning on behalf of the government with regard to sporting bodies in the country.

Speaking at a press conference here, Virwani asked for more stringent procedures while also divulging the issues faced by silver-medal-winning equestrian contingent prior to the Asian Games.

"If the government was more focused and had a clear strategy, it would do us a world of good. There have to be some changes made considering a lot of bodies are politically motivated."

Bengaluru boy Fouaad Mirza was the cynosure as the second spot was secured in the individual and team eventing despite the EFI refusing to send the team owing to a variety of reasons.

One man responsible for the squad actually participating in the Games was Virwani, chairman and managing director of the Embassy Group, who also runs the Embassy International Riding School.

Virwani, who fully sponsors a host of riders, revealed the issues he faced in the run-up to the quadrennial affair.

"The EFI was against sending the team because they did not believe in our capabilities and didn't think we could come back with a medal. In most countries, it is the coach who decides the team but here, our riders are expected to participate in five trial events and need to qualify in three of them," said Virwani, flanked by his impressive rider Fouaad.

"Apart from Fouaad, none of the riders had qualified in more than two events and even that is because they needed to keep the horses fresh. Based on this the EFI refused to allow them to participate but my team and I, going by the riders' scores, made a prediction and presented it to the concerned authorities. It was then that the IOA stepped in and helped us," he divulged.



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