A 15-member group, including top stars R. Angamuthu, Naveen Raja and M. Ukkrapandian, landed in Bengaluru from Chennai on Saturday night for the selection trials to pick the Indian volleyball team for this September’s Asian Games in China.
Another group of about 10 from Kerala, including internationals Jerome Vineeth and Muthusamy who flew from Kochi, reached Bengaluru around the same time. Both the groups were forced to return home a few hours later.
But the three-day Asian Games volleyball trials for men, organised by the Sports Authority of India under the guidance of the Indian Olympic Association’s newly-formed ad-hoc committee to run the Volleyball Federation of India, which were scheduled to start in Bengaluru on Sunday did not take place.
“We had to postpone the men’s trials to another day. The women’s trials, which are scheduled to start on June 20, have also been postponed. The decision to cancel today’s trials came last night,” former international S. Gopinath, a member of the four-member ad-hoc to run Indian volleyball, told Sportstar from Bengaluru on Sunday evening.
“The reason is that a lot of players suffered a lot of inconvenience in coming to Bengaluru because the communication regarding the trials came late. And our women’s team is already in Indonesia for a tournament (AVC Challenge Cup, the event started on Sunday).
“And a men’s camp is currently on in Bhubaneswar (arranged by the VFI). The players there also communicated to the IOA that they would not be able to attend Sunday’s trials and that they needed an opportunity too.”
The IOA’s ad-hoc committee was formed only a couple of days ago and it will take time for it to settle down.
“This was a quick changeover (from VFI to the ad-hoc committee) so there is some confusion, many teething troubles,” said Gopinath.
“Four selectors (of the seven-member men’s selection team) reached Bengaluru. The message regarding the postponement was shared in a few volleyball groups and some of the players, who were on their way, broke their journey and went back. A few landed in Bengaluru.”
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