CHENNAI: Shooting and boxing are two events facing organisational problems at the South Asian Games, and if sources are to be believed, basketball is facing elimination. Though the Indian Olympic Association is trying with all its might to organise the event, according to top basketball officials, the way things stand now, there might not be a team to participate if the current impasse is not resolved.
Indian Basketball Federation, headed by K Govindraj and recognised by the international parent body, is at loggerheads with the IOA over recognition, since its election earlier this year. However, since the South Asian Games is an international competition, it is the Asian Boxing Association and South Asian Boxing Association who will appoint referees and judges, and the technical conduct will be under their jurisdiction.
Since Govindraj’s faction is the recognised unit, it needs to be seen how IOA works out modalities. Interestingly, the IOA, which is planning to host the event through an ad hoc committee, is yet to approach Govindraj to host the event. “We are working on it,” said Rakesh Gupta, chief of the Games Technical Conduct Committee. There are even whispers that no South Asian countries would participate, throwing the entire discipline into jeopardy.
“No. IOA has not approached us so far,” said Govindraj. “We are the legitimate body, and the FIBA has sent two letters recognising us. There is no ad hoc committee, and we don’t know if IOA wants to form an ad hoc panel to run the event at SAG. Even if they form the ad hoc committee, they need FIBA’s approval to run it. Also, other than us, there cannot be any other body in India.”
There are whispers the event will eventually be shelved if nothing works out. This, however, has been rejected by IOA. “Basketball is very much part of SAG and we have not shelved it,” said Gupta. “There are issues, but we’re looking into it and hopefully will resolve it.”
Being an international event, boxing too, is facing the same problem. The International boxing association-recognised ad hoc committee feels until and unless the AIBA agrees to the newly-constituted ad hoc committee by the IOA to run the event, there might not be a country to participate.