The two warring factions of the Netball Federation of India (NFI) have decided to bury the hatchet for now and agreed to work together to create a core group of players for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
The federation has also forwarded a list of 33 players for specialised training and Sri Lankan Mary Mercia Lourdes as the foreign coach both proposals were accepted by the sports ministry’s steering committee that met a fortnight back. The players are currently training at the SAI Centre,Gandhinagar.
The steering committee has also approved one assistant coach,a physio and a sports analyst to monitor the training and progress of the players. The sports ministry had cut down funding for the federation and refused to entertain any NFI proposals,following a rift between president Gurbir Singh and secretary Dr PS Sharma,and ordered the IOA to intervene. The two had been at loggerheads on the issue of the foreign coach and things reached a low during team selection last year for a tournament in Hong Kong.
The warring factions agreed to sort out the matter before an arbitration panel with Anandeshwar Pandey as the arbitrer set up by the IOA. After hearing both sides,Pandey had declared Gurbir Singh’s removal as president unconstitutional,and placed Sharma under suspension,with “full opportunity to submit his explanation to the charges leveled against him before any disciplinary/penal action is taken against him…”
The IOA had,thereafter,recommended that Gurbir Singh will represent NFI on the ministry’s steering committee and appointed BL Sharma as the officiating secretary-general.
The ministry has also approved the NFI’s proposals for the next six months,including a week-long trip to Singapore for training and practice matches before the Asian Netball Championships in Kuala Lumpur.