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25.8.09

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It's a letter which is likely to create a huge debate in sports circles and rattle the motorsports fraternity.According to sources, the ministry of sports in January 2009 wrote to JPSK Sports, the promoters of Formula One in the country, that their request for getting approval for remittance of $36.5 million (about Rs 177 crore) to be paid to Formula One Administration (UK) for holding an F1 race in India had been rejected on the grounds that "it (the race) would have no impact on the development of sports in the country".

JPSK had first gone to the Reserve Bank of India, which asked them to get the ministry's approval.
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The basic premise of the ministry is that F1 is not needed in India and the money can be spent on development of disciplines which have a wider base in the country, ministry sources said.

"F1 is not purely sports. It is entertainment and this venture by JKSP is a commercial initiative," said a ministry source. In fact, the letter states that F1 will not have an impact on Indian sports "in terms of either participation, broad-basing or promotion of excellence".

"The proposed F1 race does not satisfy conditions which focus on human endeavour for excelling in competition with others, keeping in view the whole sports movement from Olympics downwards," said the source.
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Sameer Gaur, MD, JPSK confirmed to TOI that their request had been rejected by the sports ministry.

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