Sports

National Games Of India 2023: Volleyball Dropped At The Last Minute

The ad hoc committee, that currently runs the volleyball affairs in the country, stated a lack of time to establish the eight teams for the National Games.

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Asian Games 2023, Day 3: Volleyball
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Volleyball has been axed from the upcoming National Games, that is slated to begin from October 26 in Goa. This news comes as a major setback for the sport as it had just begun to take huge strides. The Indian Men's Volleyball team recently finished sixth at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. (ODI World Cup | StreamingSports News)

The Men's team put up some brave performances at the Games that included beating three-time champion South Korea and higher-ranked Chinese Taipei.

However, the apex body, The Volleyball Federation Of India (VFI) has been suspended since December 2019 for various reasons including proxy voting, infighting amongst members, and most notably, absence of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) that addresses grievances related to sexual harrasment. The federation is currently run by an ad hoc committee, that has been formed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

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As per a report in the Sportstar, the ad hoc committee stated lack of time to determind the eight teams for the National Games and more so, they did not want to run in to another legal tussle. “We are in a situation where we cannot recommend eight teams for the National Games without any dispute happening afterward. We don’t have undisputed criteria to qualify the teams. If we select eight teams, we should be able to defend it. That is the problem faced by the ad hoc committee,” former international S. Gopinath, a member of IOA’s volleyball ad hoc committee, was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

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As per the norms set up by the IOA, teams gearing up for the National Games should be selected based on their rankings in the National Championships. However, as the VFI is suspended and their Nationals were conducted in February, the ranking stands invalid. The ad hoc committee cannot conduct a fresh tournament to determine the rankings as it lacks time and money.

At the 2022 National Games, Kerala men's and women's teams had clinched the gold medals.

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