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BAI, SAI row continues

The slugfest between the BAI and SAI over the cancellation of the training camps including Thomas and Uber cup refuses to die down, reports Parishmita Gogoi.
By Parishmita Gogoi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2008 10:43 PM IST

The slugfest between the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) over the cancellation of the training camps including Thomas and Uber cup refuses to die down with both organisations still trying to shift the blame on the other.

SAI Director General Ratan Wattal told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the BAI never bothered to communicate with him before cancelling the camp or thereafter. "I am not aware of any other developments after they called off the camp. I have just read whatever is written in the newspaper."

Wattal then blamed the BAI for the entire fiasco saying they did not inform SAI of the problem in advance. "Nobody contacted me. Neither (BAI president) V K Verma nor (Pullela) Gopichand. Gopi called me two days prior to the camp informing about the shortage of shuttlecock.

"I told him that I shall arrange something and accordingly I made arrangements. However, they called off the camp without informing me and so the shuttle's never reached them," he added.

However, Verma was not willing to buy Wattal's argument that BAI did not keep him informed. "SAI is lying. They knew about the shuttlecock crisis six to eight weeks prior to the camp."

Verma, who is also the acting Deputy President of Badminton World Federation (BWF) and secretary general of Badminton Asia Confederation, said SAI should give it in writing that they could not provide us the necessary equipments for the camp.

"I am not shirking my responsibilities," he said, reacting to Wattal's statement that the camps are the responsibility of the sports association. "If SAI makes it clear (inability to provide equipment) then I shall take full responsibility of providing equipments. I don't want their money. All I want is a written document."

On the ban on import of shuttlecocks, Verma said the BWF has sent a representation to the Animal and Husbandry department in this regard and pointed out that the world over shuttles were exported from Hongkong under a certain policy of their Health Ministry. "Rather than the BAI sending a letter to the ministry we thought that the International federation should take the initiative so that it doesn't look biased."

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