Taekwondo Tale: Office in Mumbai chawl, President with many positions: The Tribune India


Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune press service

New Delhi, July 4

India Taekwondo (IT), a governing body formed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to end the factional struggle within the Indian Taekwondo Federation (TFI) because of which athletes were suffering, is doing its business exactly like its predecessor worked.

IT operates out of Dongar Chawl in the Kurla West district of suburban Mumbai, according to details it has filed with the Indian government’s GST authorities. However, in what arouses curiosity and suspicion, the office address on IT’s website is the same as that of the Indian Futsal Association, in a commercial and commercial plaza in Mumbai.

Since the inception of IT in 2019, taekwondo has suffered – from the roster of five athletes at the 2018 Asian Games (under TFI) to a situation in which India failed to field a team for the qualifiers of the Olympic Games in May.

Why was the Indian team unable to make the playoffs? Well, officials weren’t aware of the quarantine rules in Jordan in May; also, a chaotic selection trial took place in which a lower weight category athlete was asked to fight a heavyweight; and only a few selected athletes were invited to the Poomsae category trial, which took place online in June.

No elections

Worse yet, IT, which received conditional membership by World Taekwondo, has yet to hold an election. It has not yet sent the relevant documents, including registration documents and a copy of audited accounts, to the IOA – this is part of the mandatory requirements for a National Sports Federation (NSF) to be a separate member entire IOA with voting rights.

IOA Co-Secretary Namdev Shirgaonkar, who was appointed Chairman of the five-member ad hoc body responsible for administering sport in July 2019, is now IT Chairman.

The IOA office sent up to five reminders to the IT department to submit the documents required to start the affiliation process, but Shirgaonkar said, “We have not received any reminders.” Asked further about the specific dates on which reminders were sent by the IOA, he clarified that the IOA must communicate clearly about the documents.

“We are a federation registered under the Societies Act. No sports organization can function without proper paperwork in this country. The IOA must ask us what papers they need and we will provide them, ”Shirgaonkar told The Tribune.

No more problems

There is also a controversy surrounding Shirgaonkar. There are several complaints to the IOA office – including several Maharashtra district associations – claiming that Shirgaonkar “forcibly” became the chairman of Maharashtra Taekwondo. Former TFI President Harish Kumar filed a complaint against Shirgaonkar with the IOA Ethics Commission, alleging that Shirgaonkar controlled more than 10 sports federations, in violation of the IOA constitution.

“When the IOA becomes part of dirty politics, then what can be done? India Taekwondo is a creation of the IOA. Remember, to destroy the Indian Hockey Federation led by KPS Gill, Hockey India was created. They (IOA) have done the same with taekwondo, ”Kumar said, adding,“ Shirgaonkar is not eligible to be part of an IOA affiliate organization as he runs at least 10 federations. My reading is that the head of the IOA (Narinder Batra) wanted to give him an NSF so that he could run for Secretary General to replace Rajeev Mehta.

The man with many bodies

It is alleged that Shirgaonkar led the Modern Pentathlon Federation of India, Indian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, Indian Curling Association, Indian Mini Football Association, Indian Futsal Association, Indian Federation soft tennis fan, the Indian Football Association and the Indian Football Federation. Federation of teqball. However, the catch is that many of these associations are not recognized by the IOA and they do not have websites with a list of leaders. Interestingly, he is also the president of the Indian Olympians Association although he did not participate in the Olympics.

Asked about him allegedly wearing multiple hats, Shirgaonkar said that in addition to being vice president of Indian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, vice president of Maharashtra Olympic Association, president of India Taekwondo and co-secretary of the IOA, he currently has no association. with one of the sports organizations mentioned.

“I resigned from the modern pentathlon body in 2017. I was a founding member of the Soft Tennis Association. I have worked hard since my days in state and district bodies of various organizations and this is how I reached where I am today in IOA, ”Shirgaonkar clarified.

“I have acquired my current positions according to the rules and I am not breaking any rules according to the IOA constitution. People can claim what they think, but the point is that I have worked in many organizations, ”he added.

Interestingly, Shirgoankar’s brother Vitthal is the current general secretary of the Modern Pentathlon Federation of India, while Namdev himself is a member of the Soft Tennis Federation fundraising committee on his social media page. .

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