The Sports Ministry has rejected the Judo Federation of India (JFI)'s request to hold the delayed 2021-2022 Senior and Junior National Championships before April 30 this year.
The 2021-2022 national competition was supposed to be conducted before March 31.
The new development has further exposed the functioning of JFI. The non-approval is also a major setback for promising judo players in India as they look to showcase their talent in the national meet, according to a national judo coach.
“The JFI was supposed to conduct 2021-2022 Senior and Junior Championships before March 31, but due to infighting between the officials of the JFI, the competitions couldn’t be organized,” the national coach revealed. “Preparations of top athletes for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Hangzhou Asian Games, two major competitions this year, have suffered.”
According to Manmohan Jaiswal, General Secretary of the JFI, the National Championships was to be conducted in Andhra Pradesh to spot potential athletes for the Commonwealth Games.
“Without approval of the Sports Ministry, the National Championships will have no value,” Jaiswal said. “The JFI will conduct open national selection trials in the senior group to select probables for the Commonwealth Games. The final selection will be done in June.”
Jaiswal said the open national selection trials will be conducted at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex from April 23-25. Jaiswal added that the trials will give athletes a chance on the fringes as the top eight players in each of the weight groups will be shortlisted for the camp.
The JFI has been allotted six weight categories, including three in the women’s section for the Commonwealth Games. The JFI, however, is yet to decide in which weight categories it will send athletes to compete at the Commonwealth Games.
Despite violating the National Sports Code of 2011 on transparency and good governance, the Sports Ministry didn’t take action against the erring officials of JFI, an international judo player said.
In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games held last year in Japan, the Sports Ministry invested huge money to give international exposure to elite judo players.
“The good work of 2021 should have been carried forward by sending top athletes for an international exposure this year," the international player said. "But till date no player has gone for international competition."