CHENNAI: Selection of the team for the Nomura Cup Asia Pacific amateur golf championship may run into rough waters. The Indian Golf Union (IGU) conducted trials which got over in Noida Golf Course on August 11. This body has recently been derecognised by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which formed a temporary committee to run amateur golf in the country.
Status of national sports federation taken away for its constitution being “in violation of the National Sports Development Code” — as stated by IOA president Narinder Batra in a letter dated July 9 — can the IGU still hold such trials is the question. An official of the body says it can. A representative of the IOA committee thinks this is beyond IGU’s jurisdiction at the moment. The matter may eventually require the intervention of the IOA, sports ministry or the International Golf Federation (IGF).
“IGU officials are very much in charge of running amateur golf in the country. The IOA comes into play only when teams are selected for the Olympic and Asian Games. Otherwise, activities are still looked after by the IGU. There are over 70 competitions a year, other than academies and camps. Who is going to manage all that if the IGU doesn’t? We don’t understand why there should be a problem with us holding trials,” said an official of the IGU.
Although the Golf Governance Committee (GGC) is still to start functioning, a member of this panel is of the opinion that the IGU is not in a position to conduct selection trials right now. “The ministry and IOA have derecognised the IGU. I don’t think they can select a team at this juncture. Even if they do, it will have no validity. And they should not be able to send a team abroad either,” said the official. For any Indian team under a national sports federation needs a no-objection from the sports ministry to participate in competitions overseas.
However, there is an unanswered question here. If the IGU is deemed ineligible to function until the GGC conducts fresh elections and the GGC is non-functional, whose responsibility is it to run affairs of the IGU in the meanwhile? As things stand, perhaps the IOA or the sports ministry will have to take a call.
“The matter of team selection by the IGU should reach the IGF and it has to be seen what they say. As far as the GGC is concerned, we are still awaiting the name of an IGF representative to be included in the panel. Once that’s done, we are likely to have our first meeting in the first week of September,” said the GCC member. At present, it has four members. The IGF representative will make it five.
According to Batra’s letter to the IGU announcing the decision to derecognise it, the IGF is aware of the step taken by IOA. It says that the IOA chief and secretary-general Rajeev Mehta met IGF executive director Antony Scanlon in May and briefed him about the situation. “It was agreed that a GGC would be formed to reform governance,” it reads.