CHENNAI:THE controversy generated by the men’s handball team vis-a-vis Asian Games has been received dimly by the sports ministry. Sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar has put his foot down on federations trying to come to them with individual recommendations. “The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) sends us the names of the athletes (to be considered for the Games) and we will consider only their recommendations,” he told Express. “We will go through the names submitted by the IOA and see whether they meet the criteria or not.
“If we come across any discrepancy, we will take it up with the IOA. The final selection will be done in consultation with IOA. It’s a multi-discipline event so IOA selects the teams. We entertain whatever they send but of course, we will scrutinise. It will take another one or two weeks before we finalise (the contingent to Jakarta).”
This message by the ministry comes hot on the heels of the Handball Federation of India, of which IOA treasurer Anandeswar Pandey is a secretary of, getting a ‘back-door berth’ for the men’s team. The ministry’s stance indicates that the men’s handball team may not be cleared. but Pandey is confident. “Who said that (IOA and ministry not clearing the team)? The men’s team is going.”
Handball isn’t the only discipline that has made the IOA and the ministry burning their midnight oil. Sports such as karate, sailing, badminton, taekwondo, sambo and equestrian too have seen some developments over the last few days. In karate, the federation sent eight names to IOA but was not happy when only two were cleared. But they remain hopeful. “We have made our representation to the IOA to include all eight. That’s the situation at this stage,” Karate R Thiagarajan, president of the Karate Association of India (KAI), said.
After sailor Varsha Gautham submitted to the Delhi High Court the recording of the meeting that was held between the Yachting Association of Indian general secretary Atul Anand and herself in the presence of the Indian Olympic Association, the judge has deferred the case to Friday. However, Varsha’s father Gautham Padmanabhan is confident that the YAI will organise a trial to confirm the 49er FX sailing team for the upcoming Asian Games. “The judge has asked them to conduct trials. We are hopeful of a positive hearing tomorrow (Friday),” he said.
Meanwhile, the petition filed by Vinod Kumar, father of shuttler Vaishnavi Jakka Reddy (in pic) after his daughter was not selected, has been dismissed by the Delhi High Court. “Some documents regarding Vaishnavi’s rankings and records in tournaments were submitted and the court came to a conclusion she wasn’t eligible,” Vinod Kumar said. He also said that he is planning to take national coach Pullela Gopichand to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Aparna Balan’s case has been deferred.