What's the story?
In a major setback to Indian golfers, the Sports Ministry has suspended the Indian Golf Union (IGU) owing to the fact that the National Golf Federation did not comply with the National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI).
In case you didn't know
Golf at the Tokyo Olympics is restricted to a total of 60 players in both the men's and women's competition. Qualification is based on the International Golf Federation (IGF) rankings as of 22nd June 2020 for men and 29th June 2020 for the women.
The top 15 players qualify automatically, with a restriction of a maximum of 4 players per country. The remaining slots are filled by the highest ranked players from other countries with a maximum of 2 golfers per country.
As per the latest IGF rankings, Rashid Khan (No. 53) from the men's category and Aditi Ashok (No. 37) and Diksha Dagar (No. 57) from the women's category are in contention to book a berth in the global event.
Heart of the matter
The IGU has failed to conduct elections to the sports body despite several interim extensions given by the Sports Ministry in the last couple of years. It is learnt that the fifth interim extension provided by the Sports Ministry to enforce the NSDCI had lapsed on 8th November 2019.
As per a recent report, it is understood that the IGU has been suspended owing to certain reasons -
"The IGU has been suspended as they have not conducted the elections and haven't got their governance structure approved through the Annual General Meeting (AGM)."
"They were given a long rope to put their house in order and comply with the National Sports Code, but they failed. The ministry has not issued any letter in this regard as it is understood as per the last document sent to them in late August about the same."
This development has come as a major shock to the Indian Golfing fraternity as it would adversely impact the participation of Indian golfers in international competitions and even at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Although the Olympics qualification is based on the International Golf Federation (IGF) Rankings, the final team is supposed to be approved by the national sports federation (IGU in this case) in consultation with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
One can only hope that the IGU conducts its elections at the earliest so that this issue is resolved and the Indian golfers are not only able to participate in the Tokyo Olympics without any hiccups but bring laurels to the country as well.