China sponsored Indian women's waterpolo team for Asian Games in Guangzhou and the Swimming Federation of India agreed to it after the Asian body sent an invitation, the SFI said on Tuesday.
With only three teams -- China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan -- in the fray, women's waterpolo was in danger of being dropped from Asian Games when the Chinese Water Polo Association gave this unique "offer" to sponsor the Indian team and the SFI readily agreed.
But the SFI said it was for the betterment of the sport and they obliged to the request from the Asian federation.
"It was not like sponsoring us. They supported in our participation and it was for the betterment of the sport. The original invitation had come from the Asian federation," SFI General Secretary Virendra Nanavati said.
"Had we not sent the team, the women's waterpolo would have been dropped in the future Games. The invited us and offered to pay us for the trip and we agreed. We felt it would be a good exposure trip for our women's team who were selected for the Commonwealth Waterpolo Championship which were to be held in the last week of October in Chennai.
"But the event could not be held as teams like Canada, England and New Zealand withdrew. Meanwhile, we got this invitation and we agreed to participate," Nanavati said.
The Indian women's waterpolo team fared expectedly, finishing at the bottom after conceding 96 goals in three matches and scoring just six.
Hosts China won the gold while Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan bagged the silver and bronze medals respectively.