Suspension ends but threat of another ban looms over Volleyball Federation of India

Federation Internationale de Volleyball has given the Volleyball Federation of India a six-month deadline to settle the issue of its president as per the Indian legal system

other sports Updated: May 20, 2018 11:46 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant
Mumbai
Volleyball Federation of India,Federation Internationale de Volleyball,2018 Asian Games
The lifting of a provisional suspension on the Volleyball Federation of India is only a conditional reprieve.(HT file photo - image only for representative purposes)

The Indian volleyball teams’ participation in the Asian Games at Jakarta is almost a certainty with the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) lifting the provisional suspension on Volleyball Federation of India (VFI).

However, this is only a conditional reprieve as FIVB has given a six-month deadline to the Indian body to settle the issue of its president as per the Indian legal system.

“The FIVB Board of Administration has lifted the provisional suspension of the Volleyball Federation of India. The FIVB will continue to closely monitor all relevant legal proceedings in India and will re-examine the suspension if the VFI’s office of president is not filled within six months in accordance with Indian law,” said Vanessa Martin Randin, vice-director, FIVB Communications Department.

“The suspension was lifted in accordance with the letter sent on 14 May 2018. The six-month period starts from that date and FIVB will monitor the pending legal proceedings during that time,” Randin stated.

FIVB had provisionally suspended VFI in December 2016 and formed an ad-hoc commission to resolve the dispute between the two VFI factions, led by its then president Chaudhary Avadhesh Kumar and secretary-general Ramavtar Singh Jakhar. The sports ministry followed suit.

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The Jakhar-led faction claims to have conducted the elections and got the approval of the Delhi High Court. “The results of the election (on April 11, 2016) were permitted to be released by the Delhi High Court on 27-04-2017,” Jakhar said in a statement.

However, the rival group alleged that rules were not followed while conducting elections, and FIVB delayed lifting the suspension till May 2018. The VFI is facing allegations of financial irregularities with the group led by Sebastian George, founder of the Jimmy George Foundation set up in the memory of one of India’s greatest volleyball players, seeking a CBI inquiry. The group has also alleged that neither a Sports Authority of India nor an Indian Olympic Association observer was present during the elections.

Jakhar has refuted the allegations.

With the two factions still trading charges, the issue is unlikely to get resolved anytime soon and FIVB may be constrained to suspend the body again after six months.

First Published: May 20, 2018 10:17 IST