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EB adopts carrot and stick approach for players; accords affiliation to TTAK, TNTTA given time to resolve issues

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Guwahati, September 30: The full Executive Board of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), which met here yesterday, took over a dozen important decisions, including revising the selection criteria as well as addressing the issue of top-ranked players skipping domestic events on a regular basis.

 

The EB brought in some stringent measures which will help exceptional players, otherwise ignored because of lack of national and international ranking points, getting a look-in by the selectors for Team India squads in the future.

 

The EB also introduced new clauses to the policies which, while protecting the players’ interests, have made it mandatory for top-ranked players competing in a certain number of domestic events as well as national championships.

 

In a major decision, TTFI’s EB decided unanimously to disaffiliate Kerala Table Tennis Association (KTTA) following complaints from district associations. TTFI, which had issued a show cause notice to KTTA as per norms, setting a deadline for its response, has to take this drastic step after the parent body failed to get any satisfactory reply.

 

But with a majority of districts already breaking away from KTTA to form Table Tennis Association of Kerala (TTAK), the new body was given affiliation after it went through the proper procedures as cited in TTFI bylaws, rules and regulations as well as guidelines. The new affiliation empowers TTAK to proceed with the conduct of state ranking tournaments and send teams for TTFI conducted championships from now on.

 

Two other associations from Sikkim and Daman & Diu were given provision affiliations to promote table tennis in these states. Nagaland was also readmitted into the TTFI fold after the north-eastern state corrected the anomalies.

 

However, the issue of Tamil Nadu Table Tennis Association (TNTTA) still remained unresolved because of the litigation between two parties in the state. A.V. Vidyasagar who was present at the meeting as purportedly elected secretary of TNTTA has been given a month’s time to reach out to the parties concerned for a compromise, especially its district affiliates, or go for a fresh election after necessarily registering the body under the Registrar of Societies Act, amending TNTTA’s constitution and bylaws in tune with TTFI’s bylaws, rules and regulations as well as guidelines.

 

Vidyasagar, taking the EB advice in the right spirit, assured the members that he will comply with the suggestions within the given timeframe.

 

UNIFICATION SUGGESTED

 

The EB took a firm view of the two existing associations—WBTTA and NBTTA—in West Bengal and advised the secretaries of each for a unification. Both have been given one-month time to effect the merger. The Board also decided to treat the unified West Bengal association at par with Maharashtra, where the state gets to send two sets of entries because of its larger pool of players. The same facilities would be extended to the new West Bengal association.

 

The EB has confirmed to the UPTTA’s bid to host the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in 2019 at Lucknow. The events will be held in July.

 

Taking cognisance of various complains and RTIs received at TTFI on age-related issues from some states, the EB decided that a firm warning should be issued to all states to stricktly follow TTFI guidelines to avoid any embarrassment. Any association found to be violating the rules and regulations would be imposed with sanctions, including temporary suspension.

 

With the departure of foreign expert Massimo Costantini because of family reasons, the EB has decided to rope in Manjit Singh Dua as the chief coach for the job, until a proper replacement is found. The EB also nominated S. Grewal from Chandigarh TTA as vice-president of the TTFI, in place of the deceased P.Karunakaran, who was secretary of the Pondicherry TTA.

 

The Cadet and Sub-Junior Nationals will be conducted by Chandigarh Table Tennis Association at Panchkula from December 18 to 23. But the season’s Junior and Youth Nationals have been re-allotted to Haryana—they were originally allotted to Tamil Nadu—and the events would be held between December 25 and 30 at Sonepat.

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