In a fresh ray of hope for the beleaguered Indian archers, the World Archery on Friday wrote to the Indian Olympic Association stating the Archery Association of India suspension might be lifted by the end of this month if a clear roadmap is established.
The latest development came following the Delhi High Court’s order directing the Sports Ministry to form a five-member transitory committee to look in the state of affairs of the suspended AAI till fresh elections are held.
Following the order, the WA secretary general Tom Dielen wrote to IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta, nominating four members of the committee which will be headed by retired Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice BD Ahmad.
“If rapid progress is made and a clear roadmap is established by the end of August, World Archery might conditionally lift the suspension by the end of this month.
“We ask the Indian Olympic Association Secretary General to coordinate with the chairman to get the committee established as soon as possible,” Dielen wrote in the letter to Mehta, a copy of which is in possession with PTI.
The WA further suggested four names for the transitory committee – Mehta from IOA, R Rajagopal from the Sports Ministry, while BVP Rao and Virendra Sachdeva from the two AAI factions.
This transition committee is tasked to prepare a roadmap for the AAI having a new election as well as a Constitution that respects both the Indian Sports Code and the World Archery Constitution.
“This roadmap will have to be approved by World Archery for the suspension to be lifted,” Dielen wrote.
The committee will also select the teams for the Olympic qualifying Asian Championships in Bangkok in November and prepare a selection process for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Earlier in the day, hearing a PIL in the Rahul Mehra vs Union of India & Ors, a Delhi HC Special Bench comprising Justice S Murlidhar and Najmi Waziri directed that the transitory committee will be constituted latest by August 23 and hold its first meeting on August 24.
The committee will be headed by retired Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice B D Ahmad and will have one representative each from sports ministry, Indian Olympic Association, and the two AAI factions, Mehra tweeted.
“The committee is constituted to ensure Archery Association of India once again enjoys good standing with World Archery Federation so that our Archers are permitted to represent India under Indian flag in the forthcoming qualifying tournaments & Tokyo Olympics,” Mehra wrote.
An AAI official said the committee will be constituted to oversee the day-to-day affairs of Indian Archery which was suspended by the world body on Thursday for defying its guidelines by electing two parallel bodies.
“This committee will not take a call about fresh election procedures but will run the show till a new body comes to power. We are expecting to hear about fresh election procedures in the next hearing slated for August 16,” he said.
The World Archery on Thursday suspended the Archery Association of India for defying its guidelines by electing two parallel bodies, asking the federation to put its house in order by the end of this month.
The decision is effective from Monday and the last event in which the archers can participate under the Indian flag is the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid from August 19-25.
After which the Indian archers’ participation in international events under the national flag stands jeopardised unless a resolution is made.