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Basketball Federation determined to rein in ‘Player Indiscipline’

Basketball Federation determined to rein in ‘Player Indiscipline’

Suhrid Barua

Published: 10 Dec 2019 10:32 AM GMT

Player indiscipline is the last thing any national sports federation (NSF) desires while going about the day-to-day activities of governing the sport. And that brings into focus the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) that has been grappling with repeated instances of ‘player indiscipline’ be at international tournaments or at national camps. It is imperative that any unbecoming player behaviour is nipped in the bud as it serves as a great deal of embarrassment for the sport or a national sports federation.

The recent unsavoury episode of ace men’s basketball player Amyjot Singh along with his team members Arshpreet Bhullar, Amritpal Singh and a junior cager venturing out of their national camp in Bengaluru without the permission of coaches (present there) or the BFI officials, and subsequently getting embroiled in an on-road scuffle after consuming liquor, generated a lot of unwanted negative publicity for Indian basketball.

Mind you, this is not the first time that Indian basketball has been synonymous with ‘player indiscipline’ and not the first time that Amyjot Singh has walked down the ‘indiscipline’ road - rewind to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, where just before one of India’s matches Amyjot Singh slapped his team-mate Arshpreet Bhullar and even tried to take on the Indian skipper Yadwinder Singh when the latter tried to intervene and calm the situation. Amyjot Singh was served a one-year ban by the Basketball Federation of India along with Palpreet Singh (he was found guilty of posting a derogatory post on social media). It is pretty much in public domain that Amyjot Singh in the past had run-ins with national team coaches S. Bhaskar and GRL Prasad.

Arshpreet Bhullar
Arshpreet Bhullar

The Basketball Federation of India formed a three-member committee comprising Shakti Singh Govil as Chairman, Norman Issac as Convenor and former Indian men’s basketball team captain Rajan to get into all the details about the player scuffle and submit a report on the ugly incident. It is learnt that three-member committee has submitted its report to the BFI and although the federation is yet to announce its future course of action, there are whispers that the committee has recommended a longer suspension for the duo of Amyjot Singh and Arshpreet Bhullar. Interestingly, the duo was not included in the national side for the 2019 just-concluded South Asian Games held in Nepal.

The Basketball Federation of India Secretary General Chander Mukhi Sharma puts things in perspective. “This is not the first time that Amyjot has been found on the wrong side of the fence. We are awaiting the committee to file the report (one of the committee members was busy with his son’s marriage) and the BFI will accordingly decide on the future course of action.”

Sharma was categorical that such kind of player indiscipline sets a bad example for the sport. “The BFI is committed to root out any kind of player indiscipline as such player behaviour puts Indian basketball in poor light.”

Amritpal Singh
Amritpal Singh

However, the BFI secretary general was tight-lipped on whether any severe punishment would be handed out to Amyjot Singh and Arshpreet Bhullar given the fact that Amyjot was earlier served a one-year ban after his unruly behaviour at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. “I’m not in a position to tell you what kind of ban would be slapped on Amyjot and Arshpreet. The BFI top-brass will take a call soon.”

A former international player, pleading anonymity, said stringent action must be taken by the BFI to ensure a strong message is sent out to the players. “One of the players served a one-year ban earlier in 2018 and once again indulges in gross indiscipline. Leaving the national camp without permission, consuming liquor and picking up a fight is unacceptable. I just hope the BFI takes the players to task and create an environment that no player can even think of walking down the indiscipline road.”

A state-level coach, who has been following the national men’s team over the years, believes no player is indispensable. “Players represent the country which itself is a big responsibility. It is important that our players conduct themselves exemplarily on court or off-court. An indiscipline-free environment is the need of the hour,” he said on condition of anonymity.

One hopes that the BFI initiates strict action against the players resorting to indiscipline and ensures Indian basketball is not put in sorry light by any unbecoming player behaviour.

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