New Delhi:The Sports Ministry on Thursday made it clear that it cannot bear the entire cost of the national team's preparation for the 2011 Asian Cup but promised to help All India Football Federation meet the shortfall in its ambitious Goal Project.
The AIFF had approached the Sports Ministry seeking help for the 2011 Goal Project, which would cost around Rs 40 crore.
"They (AIFF) had sought our help in the team's preparations. We had a couple of meetings but nothing has been finalised yet. A concrete detail will emerge after 2-3 weeks," said I Srinivas, joint-secretary in the Sports Ministry.
He noted the government first needs to study AIFF's action plan before taking any decision.
"They (AIFF) have an elaborate budget and have sent us the proposal. It involves a lot of money, but we cannot bear the entire cost.
"We will have to see how much the AIFF can manage on their own and through sponsors. If they have shortfall in their budget, we can then chip in," Srinivas explained. The Sports Ministry, meanwhile, has cleared the airfare for the national team's training camps to Dubai and Spain.
"They (AIFF) approached us about funding the trips pretty late. They sought around Rs 1.5 crore but due to lack of time we managed whatever we could," said Srinivas.
He informed that the ministry has cleared more than half the amount of the airfare.
The team will leave head to Dubai tomorrow for a 10-day camp from where they will go to Barcelona. They will use the facilities of the European club champions for a month in Barecelona as preparation of the ONGC Nehru Cup to be held in the Capital from August 18 to 30.
The team was supposed to leave on Thursday but will now depart on Friday evening following a delay in visa processing.