Even as Archery Association of India (AAI) president VK Malhotra hit back at the government saying the decision to derecognise the association was “unconstitutional and arbitrary” his office-bearers were not immediately thinking about going to court.
The sports ministry has pointed out violation of the Sports Code clause relating to age and tenure while electing the office bearers and decided to stop funding the AAI.
“The high court had directed that the government shall not grant recognition to the Archery Association of India unless they hold elections as per the Sports Code,” sports minister Jitendra Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
The ruling means that there will be no assistance from the government to hold national and regional championships. The minister said the government was contemplating interim measures, by which athletes are not affected and talk to the International Olympic Committee so that the archers are allowed to participate in international meets. But with the AAI claiming that the archery world body FITA is strongly behind the association, conflicts might arise.
“I don't know what these issues implicate but what I know is that our federation was created for the good of the archers. So I would want the federation to take steps so that the archers don't suffer,” Olympian and former world No 1 Jayanta Talukdar said from Jamshedpur.
Archers will suffer
“Next year in September we have the World Championships and in November we have the Asian Championships. We have the World Cups beginning in May and we need national camps to prepare for these meets. After the Olympics we had asked for Lim (Chae Woon) to be our national coach and begin training under him. But nothing has happened. There is no point holding a camp one month before an important event. Adjustments in archery take a long time because it is a very technical and precision sport.”
AAI joint-secretary Rupesh Kar said the association will try and sit with the government and convince that even without the Sports Code, archery has improved drastically in the last eight years. “We haven’t got a letter from the government yet but we are ready to talk,” he said.
“In the meantime our domestic calendar will go on as per scheduled. We will have the senior nationals in Chennai in December end. The sub-junior nationals will be held in the third week of January in Bangalore and the junior nationals in February in Hyderabad.”