Veselin Matic set to be India's basketball coach, Govindarajan re-elected BFI president

Veselin Matic, who was the coach of the Iranian team which won the Asian Games bronze in 2010, is expected to arrive by the end of April.

Published : Mar 24, 2019 17:21 IST

Veselin Matic was last with Syria, while he's also coached the Polish and Lebanese national teams. (representative image)

Veselin Matic, who took Iran to an Asian Games bronze medal in 2010, is set to be appointed as the new head coach of the Indian men's basketball team. The Serbian's name had been cleared by the sports ministry last week, BFI Secretary General Chander Mukhi Sharma stated here on Sunday, with only a few formalities left to be completed. He is expected to arrive by the end of April.

A veteran international coach, Matic helped Iran qualify for its first ever World Championship (2010) with victory in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship. The 58-year-old has also coached the Polish and Lebanese national teams, and was last with Syria. "Our plan is for him to conduct regular zonal coaching camps apart from clinics for our coaches," said Sharma. "The problem we face is that each zone has its own coaching systems and when players meet for national camps, we lose a lot of time in getting them to adapt to one system. We want to establish a uniform coaching pattern throughout the country."

Meanwhile, Zoran Visic, who previously had taken charge of both the men's and women's teams, will return to coaching the eves. His appointment was expected to be confirmed soon by the sports ministry, said Sharma.

—Govindaraj re-elected president—

K. Govindaraj was unanimously re-elected as President of the Basketball Federation of India at its annual general-body meeting here on Sunday. Chander Mukhi Sharma was re-elected Secretary General as the BFI promised a bunch of new ideas and tournaments.

A new six-team women's league would be held inside the next three months, declared Govindaraj. "We plan to hold it in six cities first. Depending on how it goes, we will take it to other centres," he said. Plans are also afoot to restructure the national championships, with a new committee constituted for the purpose. "The committee will give us its proposal in the next 45 days. We intend to have a zone-wise competition before the final round. We will have more matches, which will give us a chance to look at more talent," said Govindaraj.

The BFI President was confident that the men's team's performances would improve. "We will have aggressive camps. We have already appointed a foreign coach (Matic). We will do much better in the coming years," he said.

The office-bearers

President: K. Govindaraj; Sr. Vice-President: Teja Singh Dhaliwal; Vice-presidents: Seema Sharma, Om Prakash, Ajay Sud, Gautam Ganguly, Ajeet Singh Rathore; Secretary General: Chander Mukhi Sharma; Treasurer: V. Raghothaman; Associate Secretary: Chengalraya Naidu, Jugraj Singh, Kulvinder Singh Gill, and Ralin de Souza.