HONG KONG Olympic chief A. de O. Sales has accused the Sports Development Board of being caught up in 'bureaucracy' because of supposed indecision in finding a replacement for the out-going Howard Wells. He also hit out at the SDB for not financing the Hong Kong World University Games squad to Fukuoka, Japan. It was recently reported that the SDB had received more than 50 applications for the top post of chief executive, currently held by Wells, and that none was found suitable, although it is understood that the screening process, including interviews, has yet to be completed. Wells vacates the job at the end of March next year. The report also said that the SDB, through a head-hunting firm, would be advertising the position again in the near future. 'Hong Kong's sports leaders found it very hard to believe that out of 60 applicants, they could not find one who is capable of handling the job,' said Sales at yesterday's flag presentation for the World University Games (WUG) squad. 'The reason why locals don't apply for these positions is that they are so disillusioned with the SDB's bureaucracy. 'If a head-hunter cannot find a candidate, then the head-hunter must be changed. This all costs money and public money must be spent to the benefit of the public.' SDB chairman David Gledhill was not available for comment yesterday. Sales said that the SDB appeared to be spending money on unnecessary projects while denying the 89-member WUG squad. It is understood that the WUG organisers did not apply for funds from the SDB on realising that the money, estimated to be over $1 million, would not be granted. Said Sales: 'Sports leaders are extremely disappointed and disgusted that the SDB could not give even one dollar to the University squad.' Cindy Leung, a sports development manager at the SDB who was at yesterday's ceremony, said the WUG did not warrant financing. 'Most of the athletes are not up to a standard for which the SDB could provide funds,' she said. 'In fact, there are many other sports who send athletes to championships that we do not fund because they are not up to standard and it would not be fair on them. 'But it is not like we are not doing anything for the WUG squad. There are a few athletes in the squad who are of a high standard and we have given them help.' Athletes like hurdler Chan Sau-ying, a gold medallist at the recent Pacific Ocean Games, and women's Asian Games judo bronze medallist, Wu Ching-hui, are among the participants who have received SDB help for the Games, which run from August 23 to September 3. Hong Kong will be represented at seven sports in the Games: athletics, men's and women's basketball, fencing, judo, swimming, tennis and men's and women's volleyball. The territory's fencing squad is expected to challenge for medals as the team contains fencers who performed well at recent international junior tournaments. Chan is also expected to mount a strong challenge in the women's 100 metres hurdles. At this month's World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, she clocked 13.53 although she failed to advance past the opening round.