Once again, squash players have been done in by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and the Squash and Racquets Federation of India (SRFI). Several teams have complained after participation rules were changed at the last minute, which the players allege has happened for the second year in a row.
The All-India Inter University Squash Tournament is on at the Satyabhama University in Chennai. Women players from six of the eight universities that have landed to participate have registered a complaint with the organisers.
Their main grievance was that the women’s tournament was advanced from the original schedule of November 5 to 8.
The bigger complaint is that the format of the team competition has been changed without informing the teams. Players alleged that in contravention of the rules, only three players from the mandated five will be allowed to compete in team competition. And in the individual event, matches have been pruned to best-of-three games from best-of-five.
This change has left many teams in a quandary as they have reached Chennai with five players for the team event. “We were given an unsigned letter that said the rules have changed and we were told they’ll only issue certificates for three, who play as a team. They could have told us before, what will happen to the others who have come?” Panjab University’s Jannat Duhan told HT over phone from Chennai.
Players have also sent a written complaint to AIU secretary in which they have alleged they were threatened by “Mr Harish (Prasad) from SRFI” of disqualification if they continue to protest.
Duhan said organisers did a similar thing at last year’s championships in Haridwar.
AIU chief Gurdeep Singh could not be reached for comment.
A separate complaint has also been filed by coach and former player, Saket Wali, with the AIU. “…none of the participants were informed, otherwise they would not have registered and travelled about 3000 km from Chandigarh, Patiala, Delhi, Gujarat and Indore with six players for a four-player competition,” Wali wrote.