A national-level seniors’ badminton event is among the first offline sporting events to be conducted since after the state government allowed sporting activities as part of resumption of normal activities since the Covid-19 lockdown. The event, Enthu Cutlets Carnival, organised by a group of badminton enthusiasts, will have close to 200 participants from across the country, and the matches will be held at Campal Indoor Stadium, Panaji, Goa, from November 25 to 29.
Bibhash Chatterjee, one of the core organising members, said the games will be conducted according to the state government’s Covid-19 protocols. “It is a friendly match between friends from various pockets of the country. To ensure the safety of players, we have a prerequisite that they have Aarogya Setu app on their devices. They will be checked with temperature guns and oximeters at the venue,” he said.
He added that the event was not being conducted under any state or national association, and that the organisers had ensured that, at any given time, only 50 sportspersons will be allowed at the venue.
From the city, 21 players will take part in the event. One of the players, who did not wish to be named, said they were willing to take part as the states had allowed sports, and they trusted the precautions taken by the organising body.
Ajay Kumar Singhania, secretary, Badminton Association of India (BAI), however, said the matches were not authorised by BAI or Goa Badminton Association.
Ranjeet Natu, secretary, Poona District and Metropolitan Badminton Association (PDMBA), said although sporting activities were slowly returning to normal, players still needed to ensure that they took part in authorised events under district, state and national associations.
“I strongly advocate players from Pune to not take part as according to BAI rules, a player is liable to disciplinary action if they play a match not authorised by PDMBA, Maharashtra Badminton Association and BAI.”
Under Clause 21 of BAI Constitution dated November 14 2018, ‘a registered player/coach/technical staff/support staff shall not participate in any tournament which is not approved by BAI or its affiliated units. Approved tournaments will mean tournaments approved by BAI routed through affiliated units and tournaments approved by affiliated units routed through its districts.’
Natu also said since the event was national level, given the ongoing second wave of infection in parts of the country, it raised questions over players’ well being. “Every individual associated with sports is looking forward to beginning tournaments but not at the cost of the well-being of our players. BAI has no scheduled tournaments till the end of the year, and even so, decisions will be taken after critical reviewing,” he said.
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