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Long-standing dispute ends as Digvijay Chautala elected president of HAI

Ending an impasse in Handball, the Handball Federation of India (HFI) and the Handball Association India (HAI) have been merged.

Long-standing dispute ends as Digvijay Chautala elected president of HAI

(Source: Digvijay Chautala/ Twitter)



Updated: 29 May 2023 11:31 AM GMT

Digvijay Chautala has been elected as the president of Handball Association of India (HAI) and Jagan Mohan Rao its secretary general, the development ending a longstanding impasse over running of the sport following the Indian Olympic Association's intervention.

The HAI thanked the IOA for its role in resolving the issue and requested for its affiliation from the Indian sports' apex body. Two bodies -- one led by Rao and another under Chautala -- have been claiming to be the legitimate national federation for handball in the last few years.

Handball was dropped from the National Games in Gujarat last year due to the confusion as to which body would run the show. "Indian Olympic Association (IOA) today announced a major breakthrough in resolving months-long impasse faced at the Handball Association of India, by bringing the two factions together to work in cohesion towards the betterment of sport and its athletes," the IOA said in a press release.

The amicable resolution assumes importance as India prepares for the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games. In a letter addressed to Usha, the executive committee of HAI on Monday conveyed unanimous election of Chautala as its president, Rao as secretary general and Tejraj Singh as treasurer.

Usha expressed her satisfaction over the resolution, saying, "HAI has set an example for all sports federations that a solution to an issue can be arrived through dialogues. I'm happy that IOA was able to bring both parties across the table to work for the common goals towards the sport and its athletes."

IOA joint secretary and acting CEO Kalyan Chaubey, who was instrumental in bringing the two factions together, said, "From IOA point of view, it was imperative to see both parties come together and solve their differences amicably.

"It took us time, but our continuous dialogues helped us in achieving the desired results. We would never want to see our time, money or energy spend into any litigation, rather all our efforts should be focused on the development of players and the sports."

Both Chautala and Rao have vowed to work in unison for the betterment of handball in India. "I'm thankful to IOA for their guidance in resolving the governance issue. We can now move ahead and work together for the sport in the country," said Chautala. Rao said, "I will do my best to serve Handball in India and for the development of our athletes."

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