Now, Taekwondo caught in selection tangle for Asian Games

There are four different factions existing in the sport in India at the moment with each claiming allegiance to a different parent organisation.

Taekwondo isn't exactly a medal hope for India in Asian Games and is de-recognised by the sports ministry but that hasn't stopped the powers-that-be from indulging in power games.   -  Paul Noronha

With just over two months to go for the Asian Games, the cobwebs around various sports federations are being dusted and new issues are flaring up. After gymnastics and equestrian, it's now time for Taekwondo to see a struggle for selecting teams.

The martial art form isn't exactly a medal hope and is de-recognised by the sports ministry but that hasn't stopped the powers-that-be from indulging in power games. In fact, there are four different factions existing in the sport in India at the moment with each claiming allegiance to a different parent organisation.

“The ministry has suggested that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) conduct selection trials and the same could then be ratified by the world body-recognised faction. That will make it easy for everyone but it may well run foul with World Taekwondo and we have already suffered once before CWG,” sources said.

Officials added that the IOA was instead keen on forming an ad-hoc committee, on the lines of gymnastics, involving all parties concerned – the government/SAI, the IOA and the faction officially-recognised by the world body – but there was no clarity yet.

The IOA and WT recognise the Chetan Anand-led faction.

Fencing trip held up

Meanwhile, the Fencing Association of India has been unable to send its team for the upcoming Asian Championships in Bangkok pending an official order from the SAI. Interestingly, the trip and its budget has already been cleared by both the sports ministry and the finance committee of SAI.

“We have to leave latest by 15th, we have already postponed our departure twice. Next up is the weekend, how would arrangements be made? We had given the proposal even before the ACTC was submitted, met the sports secretary on May 22 and got verbal clearance. Two days later, it was officially cleared after being satisfied with our selections and other details. And yet the SAI hasn't passed the order,” FAI secretary general Bashir Ahmed Khan said.

Twenty-four athletes – 12 men and women, four each in three events epee, foil and sabre – are to participate. Khan said two more in each event would be added to the squad on return and the best 24 would then be selected for the Asian Games.