New Delhi: Union sports minister Vijay Goel, who landed in a controversy after earning an official rebuke from the organisers at the Rio Olympics for his entourage’s “rude” behaviour, returned to the national capital early Sunday morning and insisted that he will clear the air.
“There are a lot of misconceptions regarding this issue right now which I will clear when the time is right. I will put my side of the story ahead with facts in due time. It’s 2 am right now and I don’t think this is the time to speak on such things,” Goel said on his arrival.
The Olympic organising panel, in a scathing letter to India’s chef-de-mission Rakesh Gupta, had threatened to cancel the accreditation of Goel for his “aggressive and rude” entourage and trying to bring other non-accredited people at the Games venues.
From selfies with pariticipants to clicking snapshots with the women’s hockey team, the minister had been in the thick of things at the event where the Indian contingent has so far failed to win any medal. He shadowed athletes in Rio for photos, often seconds after the matches. On Saturday, the Congress accused Goel of bringing disrepute to the nation at the Olympics by flouting rules and codes of decency. The party said that Goel could have done his job of taking care and cheering the Indian contingent even without leaving the country.
Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi told ANI said that it was ‘unfortunate and disappointing’ that under the garb of cheering the Indian squad at the Olympics, the minister’s entourage was busy in ‘self glorification’. Goel had denied any tiff with the organisers and had taken to Twitter to say that “there seems to be some misunderstanding” after the controversy blew up.
“To my knowledge, we have been following all rules and regulations. We are committed to the spirit of Olympics and back our Indian players. There seems to be some misunderstanding as we have followed all protocols as advised by the organizers,” Goel had tweeted.