For the first time in over a decade the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) did not conduct the Boys’ U-10 hockey tournament as they received just five entries. But what’s even more surprising is the fact that the school body has still not returned the entry fee of Rs 500 per team that they had charged the schools for registration.
MSSA general secretary Fernandes
When the tournament was called off, MSSA hockey secretary Sarah Alphonso had said that as per MSSA rules at least eight teams are needed for a tournament to be conducted. But due to lack of entries the tournament was scrapped.
An angry St Dominic Savio High School (Andheri) coach Ram Naresh Yadav said, “We paid MSSA an entry fee of Rs 500. But the money was not returned even though the tournament was called off last month. It is not about the amount but ethics. How much time does it take?”
Don Bosco (Matunga) coach Javed Sayed too said the MSSA has not returned the entry fee. “We had given entries for two teams - Don Bosco ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams as MSSA had lesser teams participating. We had paid Rs 1000. The tournament was cancelled in February. But we haven’t received the money back.”
St Stanislaus (Bandra) too are on the same boat as the rest of the teams. “MSSA didn’t take much time to cancel the tournament. But to give back the entry fees, they have to think so much. As they were unable to have the tournament, we are conducting the U-10 hockey event as a part of our 150 years celebrations so that the kids do not suffer,” an official from St Stanislaus said.
When contacted, MSSA general secretary Sebastian Fernandes said, “The U-10 hockey tournament was cancelled long back. We took the entry fee but the decision whether to refund the money has not been taken yet. MSSA hockey secretary Sarah will inform the MSSA committee about it. The committee will decide what needs to be done.”