The organisers of the South Asian Games that will be held from December 1 to 10 next month at Pokhara in Kathmandu have declined India's entries in taekwondo, karate, and archery after the three federations have either been suspended or derecognised by their respective global bodies. The decision was conveyed to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) a week before the event is to slated to begin in Nepal.
Sujan Lal Srestha, the Nepal Olympic Committee Executive Secretary, in a letter to the IOA wrote, "We won't accept archery, taekwondo, and karate." As a result, the selection trials to pick the Indian participants for the South Asian Games that were scheduled for November 26 in Bhubaneshwar have been cancelled.
"The ad-hoc committee of the IOA on Karate has decided to cancel the selection trial to be held in Bhubaneswar on 26 November," said Rakesh Gupta, one of the members of the IOA-appointed ad-hoc committee.
The suspension on archery by the world body
In August this year, World Archery suspended the Archery Association of India (AAI) for defying its guidelines by appointing two governing bodies, with Union Minister Arjun Munda leading one faction and BVP Rao the other. Despite the World Archery giving AAI time till July 31st to decide which faction was legally elected, the two opposing parties were unable to come to a truce, which ultimately led to the suspension.
Till the suspension is not lifted, the Indian archers will have to compete in events as independent participants rather than under the Indian flag.
Ad-hoc committee in place for the Taekwondo Federation
The IOA had ordered the Taekwondo Federation of India (TFI) to set up a five-member ad-hoc committee for the sport's governance in the country till a new 'society for the governance of taekwondo in India that shall be the new affiliated National Sports Federation of IOA for taekwondo' is set up.
The TFI is facing suspension from the ministry since 2014 due to the formation of factions. The IOA has also asked the ad-hoc committee to conduct fresh elections within the next few months to correct the wrongs. It is expected that until the elections are held and the world body recognises the federation, the athletes will be unable to represent India.
Karate federation not yet affiliated
The tenure of the Karate Association of India (KAI) expired early last year, after which fresh elections were held, in which Likha Tara was elected the president. However, with the Indian sports ministry still evaluating the election results, the KAI has not officially been enlisted as an affiliated member.
The political handling and mishandling of sports federations in India have cost the Indian athletes a chance to compete in the upcoming South Asian Games, and here's hoping that the political interference is kept at a minimum going forward to allow sportsmen their rights.