Billiards & Snooker Players Association of India raises affiliation issue with Sports Ministry
Members of the Billiards and Snooker Players Association of India on Saturday urged the national federation to immediately reinstate its affiliation.
Members of the Billiards and Snooker Players Association of India (BSPAI) on Saturday urged the national federation (BSFI) to immediately reinstate its affiliation and called for working in tandem to take the sport to greater heights.
The Association president Cherag Ramakrishnan said at a virtual media interaction that the BSPAI had taken up the issue with the Sports Ministry and they said they would look into the matter. "We have been engaging with the federation since the revival in the early part of the year. The BSPAI has taken up the issue of reinstatement of affiliation by BSFI with the Sports Ministry and the Minister. They have said they will look into the matter" he said. I
ndian cue sport legend Pankaj Advani, who is BSPAI vice-president, said when the association was revived earlier this year, the intention was to work in tandem with the Federation. "After the revival of the players association, we thought how we could work together amicably with the BSFI and take the sport to greater heights. We have extended our hand of friendship. Unfortunately, the BSFI is coming up with its own formula of how the players should be represented," he said. "The whole purpose of having the association is to ensure the best players, not in terms of achievement, but the most capable people represent the association to talk about the players' interests. All I say is that we would like to work together...Is that too much to ask?" Advani also said "What we are asking is a transparent approach."
To a question if there were enough tournaments in India, Advani said there was a need to have a proper circuit. "We definitely need to have a proper circuit. As per the Ministry guidelines, the national championship is mandatory for the federation obviously to get a government grant. "You look at sports not even in the mainstream... See volleyball...they have a league run professionally, which is televised. We need to find a solution together to take the sport forward," the 23-time world champion added.
Former national snooker champion Yasin Merchant, vice-president of the BSPAI, said they always wanted to work in tandem with BSFI and want to nominate the right people. "We never wanted to be anti-establishment. We end up in such situations where we have to take hard decisions. We don't want confrontation. We want to nominate our people, the right people of the association," he said.
The BPSAI, in a release, said among its demands were reinstatement of the association's affiliation immediately with two representatives being invited to the management committee/EC meetings. "... and with regard to the National sports Code, the BSFI and BSPAI should work jointly with the ministry for better understanding and implementation of provisions in the constitution of the Federation."
The BSPAI, which was revived in February 2021, alleged: "...BSFI is not genuinely interested in engaging with the top players of the country and is neglecting the promotion of sport in a proper manner.. It also said that BSFI "is not providing any financial help or support to local State Associations, and is only focusing on a single event that is constantly putting BSFI in debts and the BSFI balance sheet today stands in deep trouble."
The BSPAI office-bearers recalled that since its formation, the BSFI had agreed that association being a Players' body, must nominate two representatives to attend BSFI meetings and vote on vital decisions and resolutions and the two shared a good relationship. The practice continued and the BSPAI representatives attended all the meetings of BSFI till 2007-2008, and during this period things were moving in the right direction. However, things are not the same anymore, they said.