Union sports minister Vijay Goel, who is currently in Rio de Janeiro to cheer for the Indian contingent, landed in a controversy after organizers threatened to cancel his accreditation if unaccredited people accompanying him do not end their "aggressive and rude" behavior.
The minister defended himself that he had not flouted any rule and the volunteers had taken him to the field. But the Rio Olympics organizers have accused him of trying to enter accredited areas at venues with unaccredited individuals.
"We have had multiple reports of your Minister for Sports trying to enter accredited areas at venues with unaccredited individuals," Sarah Peterson, who is Continental Manager for Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, said in a letter to Indian Chef-de-Mission Rakesh Gupta.
“When our staff tries to explain that this is not allowed, they report that the people with the Minister have become aggressive and rude and sometimes push past our staff,” the letter further said.
"As you can understand, this type of behaviour is not acceptable. Despite previous warnings, it would seem that even today the same incident occurred at the Arena (Gymnastics venue) and Carioca Arena 3," she added.
"Should our protocol team be made aware of further examples of this type of behaviour, the accreditation of your Minister for Sports will be cancelled and his privileges at the Olympic Games withdrawn. We trust you will pass on this message urgently," she said.
"After the India-Japan match, the minister was invited by the team to interact. He went down to the field of play inadvertently and not knew that he needed a special pass. However the moment it was brought to his notice, he left the field and met the players outside," Chef-de-mission Rakesh Gupta said.
"On another occasion, he took the special pass and only then met the players. It is unfortunate that a non issue is being made an issue without any reason," Gupta added.
Goel, on his part tweeted,”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.”