Indian archers may have hit the bull’s eye after a long time but all is not well with the national federation which may get suspended by the world body in its executive board meeting in the Netherlands Friday. The 15-member executive board of World Archery headed by its president Ugur Erdener will vote whether to suspend Archery Association of India or not after evaluating the reports submitted by the two parallel elected bodies of the AAI. The executive board of the WA will meet at Den Bosch, Netherlands on Friday on the sidelines of the World Championships where the Indian men’s recurve team has grabbed a three-man quota place for the 2020 Olympics.
“World Archery will receive the reports from both meetings, evaluate and then the executive board will decide next steps. Assuming everything proceeds, it would seem a ‘suspension,” an WA official told PTI. Union Minister Arjun Munda and BVP Rao were on Sunday elected unopposed in separate but simultaneous elections in New Delhi and Chandigarh. When contacted regarding Friday’s WA meeting, Munda told PTI: “I’ve nothing to say. We have followed the proper election process and the matter is in sub-judice in Delhi High Court.”
Rao said: We have submitted the election papers and I just hope that India don’t get suspended. I’m hoping for a positive outcome.” In a similar case, the WA had in October 2018 suspended one of their founding members, Polish Archery Federation, for a failure in governance and election practices. During the period of suspension, Polish athletes were permitted to compete in events that do not require national team registration such as the Indoor Archery World Series. Their suspension was lifted on February 25 this year.
Defying suspension warning from the World Archery, the rival groups of AAI on June 9 had unanimously elected two presidents — Munda and Rao. The world body had tried to intervene and sent vice-president Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol as the “mediator” to have an unified election but all the talks to bring the two factions together failed as AAI elected two parallel bodies in a bizarre scenario.
The archers, however, put up a stunning show as the men’s recurve team not only grabbed an Olympic quota but made the World Championships final only for the second time since 2005.