In a major decision, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) decided that only those athletes who attend National Camps or approved National Training Programmes will be eligible to represent the country at international levels.
AFI Executive Council members on Saturday met in new Delhi to discuss various issues ranging from planning of hosting the Asian Athletics Championships in Ranchi later this year to selection of Indian athletes for upcoming international meets.
“The Executive Council also approved that only those athletes attending the National Camps or approved National Training Programmes will be eligible to represent the country at international levels,” AFI said in a release.
“The Executive Council’s decision is a fallout of poor performances of Indian athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics who were not in approved training programmes but were selected on the basis of one-time sterling performances during trials and never repeated their best performance later at any stage.
“The Executive Council unanimously agreed that athletes who are monitored within the system should only be eligible for selection to represent the country at international level,” it added.
In a two-day meeting that began today, the AFI Executive Council decided to shift gears for the preparations of Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Ranchi, Jharkhand from July 1-4, 2017.
The members of Executive Council unanimously agreed that preparations for the continental championships be put on priority and both State Government of Jharkhand and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports should be approached to speed up the preparations of the championships.
There were reports of Jharkhand state unit of AFI claiming that there was lack of keen interest on the part of the state government to host the event.
However, Adille J Sumariwalla, AFI President, said: “We will meet Honourable Chief Minister of Jharkhand and Honourable Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mr. Vijay Goel in coming days to discuss preparations of the Asian Athletics Championships 2017.
“It will be the biggest athletics event of the year for us as 45-member federations of Asian Athletics Association will be taking part in the competition and we are determined to host one of the most successful continental championships in India.”
Embracing the idea of good governance to bring more transparency and accountability in the functioning of its affiliated member state associations, the AFI Executive Council also discussed in detail and approved for amendments in the constitutions of various state associations.