Ashwal Rai deemed ineligible

Even as Karnataka registered a victory in its opening match, one of its players, Ashwal Rai, was asked to sit out after being deemed ‘ineligible’ by the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI).

Karnataka defeated Rajasthan in a cliff-hanger of a match today at the Senior National Men and Women Volleyball Championship.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Even as Karnataka registered a victory in its opening match, one of its players, Ashwal Rai, was asked to sit out after being deemed ‘ineligible’ by the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI).

Rai, who recently resigned from his post at Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Chennai had sought a transfer from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka and was under the impression that all the paperwork had been completed only to find out otherwise. Even the Karnataka coach, M.H. Kumara, was a miffed man, for he too was in the dark.

“He has been with us for sometime,” he said. “There was a technical committee meeting yesterday. They could have decided it then instead of asking him sit out after the toss. Because of his omission the players lost rhythm early on.”

Interestingly, Rai, while still being part of IOB, was involved in a similar issue pertaining to eligibility in the Karnataka State ‘A’ Division Volleyball league as recently as October.

The Karnataka Volleyball Association, through its Secretary K. Nandakumar had sent the necessary documents only at the fag end of December and this, the Secretary General of VFI, Ramavtar Singh said, was the reason.

“The deadline was June 30, 2015. But we got it at the nth hour,” he said. “On our part, we are technically correct and he will not play the entire tournament. But the control committee can change the decision if a meeting is held.”

On his part, Nandakumar said, “I had all the documents and had submitted it to the VFI. When I got the reply from the VFI I didn’t inform the state coach because we had all the documents ready. I didn’t find any need to inform.”