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Saturday June 22, 2024

AKF bans Indian team, federation

By Abdul Mohi Shah
May 23, 2024
Indian Kabaddi players argue with referees on a disputed decision in the men’s kabaddi gold medal match between India and Iran during the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in China on October 7, 2023. — AFP
Indian Kabaddi players argue with referees on a disputed decision in the men’s kabaddi gold medal match between India and Iran during the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in China on October 7, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) has imposed a ban on the Indian federation and its national team’s international participation for their failure to settle differences in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the parent body.

AKF Secretary Mohammad Sarwar Rana told ‘The News’ that following the special online meeting of the General Council of the Asian body, it has been decided to impose a ban on the India team’s international participation for Adhoc Committee’s failure to hand over the reins to the elected body.

“Since 2017 an adhoc body has taken over Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI). We have sent a reminder to the Adhoc Committee to conduct elections at the earliest. The first reminder was sent in 2022 followed by a second reminder in 2023. The Adhoc Committee then conducted elections but has not handed over the offices to the elected body so far which is against the laid down rules. Despite several reminders the Adhoc Committee is reluctant to hand over the charge. We have been left with no option but to impose a ban on the Indian team’s international participation,” Sarwar said.

The letter sent by AKF to all the member countries including stakeholders in India says: “The matter was previously communicated to the Government of India concerning the management of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI). The AKF issued a letter on February 23, 2022, expressing our concerns regarding governance of the AKFI, which has been under the administration of a court-appointed authority in New Delhi. We had earnestly requested that the AKFI be transitioned to a management structure led by a democratically elected executive committee no later than 30 April 2022.

“Regrettably, it appears that no action has been taken in this direction. Furthermore, it has come to our attention that despite the democratic conclusion of elections on December 24, 2023, the management continues to be overseen by the administrator. This prolonged governance by an unelected authority has now exceeded six years, contradicting the constitutional framework of the AKF.

“Due to these unresolved issues, and after careful consideration, the AKF finds itself compelled to uphold the integrity of its governance policies by disallowing the participation of Indian teams in any forthcoming international competitions until the elected body takes over the IKFI.

“The Asian Kabaddi Federation also requested to Olympic Council of Asia and the International Kabaddi Federation to comply with this unanimous decision by the General Council of the Asian Kabaddi Federation. We trust that the Government of India will treat this matter with the urgency it requires and facilitate a swift resolution to restore the democratic management of the AKFI.”

In case, Indian kabaddi fails to remove their difference, the country’s national team would be out of World Cup (to be hosted by Iran this year) and Asian Indoor Games scheduled for November in Thailand.