Gymnastics Federation of India announces dates for Asian Games trials even as tiff with IOA persists


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The stand-off between the Gymnastics Federation of India and the Indian Olympic Association may just leave the gymnasts in a spot of bother with less than two months to go for the Asian Games.

The IOA and the sports ministry do not recognise GFI that currently has the recognition of the International Gymnastic Federation.

IOA general secretary Rajiv Mehta on Saturday hinted at forming an ad hoc body to select the team for the Games.

However, the GFI responded by announcing an open trial on June 24 in Pune. It has put the elite players in a tizzy as they are currently part of the preparatory camp in New Delhi which is scheduled to go on till June 23 and there is no way they can report for the trials on time.

The GFI, on its Facebook page, has also asked for a registration fee of Rs 1000 for anyone wanting to take part in the trials and that hasn’t gone down well with the elite gymnasts.

While that issue can be easily sorted out, the bigger problem is the tussle between GFI and the IOA.

Mehta had told reporters on Saturday that they were awaiting a sports ministry directive to decide a future course of action.

The Field has learnt that the GFI officials are to meet IOA office bearers on June 7 to sort out the issue and are hoping for a permanent solution.

A selection controversy had blown up ahead of the Commonwealth Games. The IOA had then appointed its vice president and Indian Lawn Bowling Federation president Sunaina Kumari as the chairperson of the selection committee to pick the squad despite her limited knowledge of the sport.

However, the International Gymnastics Federation had then intervened and told the IOA that the registration and selection of athletes for the Games was the prerogative of the national federation.

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