Basketball derecognised

South Asian Games

Basketball derecognised

A day after the Karnataka High Court ordered the Basketball Federation of India, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to jointly select the national men’s and women’s basketball teams for the upcoming South Asian Games (SAG), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on Wednesday has de-recognised the event.

“Due to unacceptable interference by the Indian Olympic Association in the affairs of the Basketball Federation of India, FIBA is unable to recognise and endorse the basketball competition of the South Asian Games scheduled to take place from February 11-16, 2016,” the international body said in a statement to its member nations.

“It’s a real shame. The sports ministry and government make rules, they set the sports code and looks like they are the ones who break the same,” said K Govindaraj, the president of the BFI, which was granted recognition by the FIBA in 2015.

“It’s really disappointing that we will not be having basketball at the South Asian Games. Twice in the past (May 23 and October 6, 2015), the FIBA had written to the sports ministry and the IOA to recognise BFI as the governing body of the sport in India.

“But now due to their unwillingness to do so, we will have to withdraw a discipline from the SAG,” he added.

While the federation is busy mulling ways to sort this mess, the hoopsters believe that such trouble could hamper the prospects of the national team at the limited international exposure that they get.

“It’s more of a political problem. As a player, I am really helpless,” said the Indian skipper Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, who is at the New Delhi camp called by the IOA that started this trouble.

“We do what our employers say. If they ask us to attend a said camp, we do that. All we care about is playing for the national team.  For us, the players, there’s no bigger satisfaction than putting on the India colours and representing the nation. And then you have such problems, which would limit our chances to play for the nation,” he added.

The latest trouble crept in when the IOA went against a Karnataka High Court’s stay order and called for a senior national camp in New Delhi to select the teams for SAG without the authorisation of the BFI. And when the BFI challenged this move in the court, the High Court issued an interim order directing the three parties involved to convene a meeting to select the teams for the SAG.

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