The media cell of the Karnataka Basketball Association released a letter today, from the International Basketball Federation, ‘FIBA’, according official recognition to the Govindraj camp from the South.
As we are all aware, the last few weeks has seen Indian basketball face uncertainty due to competing claims from rival factions towards the top posts in the Basketball Federation of India (BFI). One faction was led by Maharashtra Basketball Association’s President Ms Poonam Mahajan and former CEO, BFI Ms Roopam Sharma. The rival faction was headed by Karnataka Basketball Association’s K Govindraj and Chander Mukhi Sharma. Both factions held their own Annual General Meetings (AGM) in which they appointed parallel BFI governing bodies. Ms Mahajan and Sharma were elected as the President and Secretary General respectively of their AGM held in Pune on 28th March 2015, while a day earlier, in another AGM in Bengaluru, Govindraj and Chander Mukhi Sharma were appointed to the identical posts.
The FIBA in this letter noted the admission of the former BFI Secretary General (Ajay Sud, who is not mentioned by name) & subsequent resignation on the “moral ground” that he had authorised the Pune AGM without the consent of the outgoing President RS Gill. The letter makes note that as per Rule IX of the BFI Constitution, it is the BFI President who is competent to decide on the place and time of the General Council meeting.
Damningly enough, the shared letter goes on to “regretfully” note that the documents submitted by both the parties in seeking to establish their respective claims, in fact contain serious allegations which may be subject to criminal proceedings in India as well as to proceedings under the FIBA Code of Ethics.
The shared letter ends with FIBA respectfully indicating to the copied parties, particularly Indian Olympic Association & Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs to abide by its decision, keeping in mind Rule 28 of the IOC Olympic Charter.
The three page letter dated 23rd May 2015, in the name of Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General urged that Indian basketball should remain out of political and legal conflicts and focus on all its attention to future successes on the court.
While this FIBA letter is a shot in the arm for the Southern camp, for the general Indian basketball community, the wait is still far from over. It is upto the IOA, Ministry of Youth & Sports Affairs, the Delhi High Court and both the rival parties to now sit down and thrash out all their issues, guided by these FIBA observations.
The soft copy of this FIBA letter can be read in full here.