Rest In Pieces Vidarbha Hockey

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jan 2019 10:35:48


By Paritosh Pramanik,

Hockey India suspends VHA

Throws out two teams from senior nationals

THE adamant behaviour and clash of egos among the executive committee members of Vidarbha Hockey Association (VHA) has put careers of players in jeopardy and forced Hockey India to suspend the association till the dispute is resolved.

The turf war between BC Bhartia-Vinod Gawai and AP Joshi Groups off the field has resulted in Hockey India throwing out Vidarbha Hockey Association’s teams from the ongoing 9th Senior National Championship at Chennai. In an email sent to Bhartia, Gawai and others, a copy of which is with ‘The Hitavada’, Hockey India directed all the state units holding nationals this year not to entertain Vidarbha teams.

“In light of the records sent to Hockey India and the confusion that currently appears to exist within Vidarbha Hockey Association, the matter has been discussed with each, the President, Hockey India and Secretary General, Hockey India and they have advised that the Membership of Vidarbha Hockey Association has been suspended with immediate effect until the above issues are resolved,” a mail from Hockey India to BC Bhartia and Vinod Gawai and other units stated.

If that was not enough, from now onwards Hockey India will not permit any other VHA teams — senior girls, sub-junior boys and girls, junior boys and girls — in the forthcoming national championships. “As such the teams for (of) Vidarbha Hockey Association will not be eligible to participate in the 9th Hockey India National Championships 2019,” the letter stated. Both the groups, who claim to be the incharge of running the game in the region, had sent separate teams for the nationals at Chennai.

This means that over 100 hockey players -- boys and girls -- would now be deprived of participating in the nationals and showcase their talent.The entire blame should be attributed to the  13-member executive committee of VHA for creating this mess resulting in suspension of the association.The alleged adamant behaviour of secretary Gawai, forming a separate group to run hockey affairs by AP Joshi and his team, without foreseeing repercussions, has clearly killed hockey in entire Vidarbha.

Joshi and company alleged non co-operation from Bhartia-Gawai and termed their working as dictatorial. They, with support of eight executive committee members, suspended the president and the secretary. Bhartia and Gawai, on their part, termed the decision to suspend them as unconstitutional and illegal and continued to run the affairs.
In the whole process none of the two parties thought about the career and future of the budding hockey players.
They washed their dirty linen in public but failed to take care of players because of whom the association exists.
Both the erring parties also wasted over a lakh of rupees in preparation of squad, kits and travel of their respective teams.

All that money also went into the drain. Both the groups selected their own senior men’s teams but did not reveal it to the media fearing their team would not be allowed to play in the nationals. But Hockey India gave a tight slap to both by suspending VHA.
It was the players who suffered the most. They sweated out hard, sacrificed their studies, their jobs, spent days away from their parents only to make a career in hockey. But the executive committee members were least bothered about it. They were only interested in ousting each other from the association and were interested in wresting posts.
Secretary Gawai must take the blame for the mess by not conducting executive committee meetings and working in an allegedly adamant manner.

But at the same time, the AP Joshi-led group, too, should be held guilty for not thinking about the players’ career. They could have approached the Deputy Charity Commissioner office, under whom the association is registered, and waited for its orders.
By selecting and sending two teams both the groups have played with careers of hundreds of players.