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COA is transparent and democratic: Gita Mittal

Justice Gita Mittal (Rtd)

Justice Gita Mittal (Rtd) | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Justice Gita Mittal (Rtd), the chairperson of the Committee of Administrators (COA) appointed by Delhi High Court to conduct the affairs of TTFI said the body has taken transparent and democratic steps to put the game back on track in the country.

Speaking to The Hindu during the 83rd National Junior and Youth Table Tennis Championships, Justice Gita Mittal said the major achievement of the COA in the last four months was that it was able to conduct all the three nationals without proper budgeting and without any help from sponsors. She said it was done to facilitate the participation of the national team for the Commonwealth Games and other international events. 

The chairperson said the recent selection controversy and court cases had affected the morale of the selected players and COA was facing challenges to send the team for the Commonwealth Games.

“The independent selection committee had recommended the names of the players to the COA. But the existing ranking and selection criterion makes no provision for doubles teams. There is an exaggerated weightage given to domestic tournaments over international events,” she said.

Conundrum

“Doubles is an essential part of Asian, Commonwealth and Olympic Games. We needed to identify the right pair. The selectors were in a conundrum as Archana Kamath has no points in domestic circuit. She also didn’t play doubles in the senior nationals and lost in the first round in singles.

“However, the selection committee recommended Archana as the doubles partner of Manika Batra for Commonwealth and wrote that it should be cleared by SAI. The COA wrote to SAI pointing out the reasons.

“SAI said it was the prerogative of the sports body to decide on its teams. Now it is unfortunate that the players have decided by themselves who are more meritorious. Four players went to court and it has put a lot of pressure on selected players who should actually be preparing for the matches,” she said. 

On the way forward, the chairperson said that the aim is to do well in 2028 Olympics and the need to spread the game in tier two cities in the country.

“We have plans to start a national TT Academy on the same lines as the NCA. There would be regional academies for identifying and nurturing talent as well. We have also asked the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board to revive their academies,” the chairperson said.

Electronic draws

“We have introduced electronic draw of lots to avoid rigging and it was well received by players. It is good to know that we have implemented the parity on prize money in the 83rd junior national in Alappuzha. Further, I understand that the match officials are paid poorly and their remuneration needs to be increased,” she said on other changes made by COA.

“The COA has no intention on overstaying and will leave after completing the task as directed by the Hon. Delhi High Court,” she added.


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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 3:17:48 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/coa-is-transparent-and-democratic-gita-mittal/article65564369.ece