Sports Ministry derecognises Rowing Federation of India

The Union Sports Ministry has derecognised the Rowing Federation of India once again, without any specific reason; RFI president wants activities to continue.

RFI president Rajlaxmi Singh Deo insists that the rowing activities continue despite the latest development.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


The Union Sports Ministry has derecognised the Rowing Federation of India (RFI) once again without any specific reason. RFI president Rajlaxmi Singh Deo insists the rowing activities continue despite the latest development.

“We don’t want the rowers to suffer especially with Olympics scheduled next year. Already, all the preparations and efforts for the originally scheduled Tokyo Games this September have gone down the drain with the postponement,” she said in a chat with Sportstar on Tuesday.

“The Sports Ministry’s decision means that we will not be funded for our foreign exposure trips, no travel concessions (by train) and participation and most importantly will not be allowed to use the ‘India’ tag,” she said.

“This is disappointing. For, India rowers won 198 international medals including 23 in Asian Games (two gold, five silver and 16 bronze) and rowing ranks as one of the best medal prospects at Asian level over the years,” the RFI official said.

“But, we will continue to hold the camps, the Nationals since the Olympic qualifiers are scheduled in Korea next April. Essentially, the RFI will ensure that the morale of the rowing fraternity is high by continuing the activities which we have been doing even without the support of Government,” the RFI chief explained.

“What is most saddening is the latest move to de-recognise RFI with no specific reason assigned for it. Last time they said the elections were not properly held. So, we had the elections to RFI again this February in the presence of IOA Observer and other senior officials,” Rajlaxmi said.

“We are in a stalemate. We will have to wait and watch how things shape up in the days to come,” she said.

Chief national coach Ismail Baig feels the national camps will start from July once the Covid-19 threat subsides even though the government has declared that sports training will first resume at SAI centres.

“For rowing, we have the SAI centres in Andaman, Jagatpur and Alleppey. So, we will soon come out with an action plan to put the rowers back in the waters and not be too much worried about this latest development,” he concluded.

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