Differently-abled TT players in HC for inclusion in Asian Para Games
New Delhi, Aug 22 (PTI) Ten differently-abled table tennis players have approached the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Centre and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to include their names in the final list for participating in the upcoming Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games to be held in October.
The petition claimed that selection trials were conducted by Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) on July 8 in Indore to select the team of Table Tennis players for the games and 19 best performing players, including the 10 petitioners, were selected.
However, they were shocked to note that despite their selection in the trials, the authorities have "arbitrarily and whimsically" dropped their names from the final list of players and selected only five players for the tournament to be held from October 6 to 13, the plea filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava said.
The 10 players who have filed the plea in the high court are Sandeep Kalra, Jagannath Mukherjee, Ramakrishnaiah Srinivas, Sanjeev Kumar Hajeri, Dr Ajay Gubbi Vijaya Kumar, Sumit Sehgal, A Raj Aravindan, R baby Sahana, Poonam and Jashvantbhai Chaudhary. They are aged between 14 to 53 years.
The high court is likely to hear the petition on August 24.
The plea said these players are holding international classification cards issued by International Paralympic Committee, a prerequisite for any player to play any international match in the Para (Disabled) category.
The petitioners said they had to incur lakhs of rupees of their own to obtain the international classification cards and many of them had taken loans for it.
The plea said every participating country has been allotted a maximum slot of 25 athletes in Para Table Tennis category in the event.
"Considering adequate quota of 25 players allotted to India by the Asian Paralympic Committee (PCI), all of the 19 players, including the petitioners, were required to be included in the final list of Indian Contingent for Table Tennis in the tournament.
"However, despite having availability of sufficient slot, the authorities have arbitrarily decided to only include the five players and have arbitrarily excluded the names of the petitioners from the final list, that too without assigning any reason," it said.
The players said despite repeated requests, the authorities have not included their names in the Indian contingent.
The petition has arrayed as parties -- Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, SAI, PCI and TTFI