Delhi HC finds national table tennis coach guilty of 'match-fixing', suspends TTFI executive committee for six months

Delhi HC finds national table tennis coach guilty of 'match-fixing', suspends TTFI executive committee for six months

For representation only, Photo credit: iStock

PTI

New Delhi, February 11

The Delhi High Court has suspended the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) Executive Committee for six months over match-fixing allegations saying that its faith was shaken in view of the sports body's “sorry state of affairs”.

The court said that the federation must have an administrator appointed in a week and also found that national coach Soumyadeep Roy indulged in match-fixing during the Olympic qualifiers in March.

Justice Rekha Palli, who was dealing with the petition filed by the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Khel Ratna awardee Manika Batra, said that the report of the three-member committee, constituted by it to look into the allegations of match-fixing levelled by the paddler, showed that TTFI “safeguarded the interests of its officials” and that “instead of promoting players, TTFI is dictating terms”.

The judge said that this country takes pride in its sportsperson and people who don't understand how players are to be treated “should be out”.

The report reveals a sorry state of affairs. The court is appalled to note some of the observations made by the committee with regard to the manner in which respondent no 1 (TTFI) and respondent no 3 (national coach) were functioning,” the judge said.

“These people should be out of this, people who don't understand how players are to be treated, to give them dignity. These people are the pride of the nation. These people (TTFI officials) have to be suspended,” the judge remarked during the hearing.

“In view of the circumstances, the court is left with no option but to appoint an administrator... The Executive Committee of the respondent no 1 will no longer be allowed to take any decision or interfere in the manner in which the administrator decides to discharge the duties assigned to him under the Code,” the court dictated in its order as it clarified that since there are a number of tournaments coming up, it was expected that the present management will render all assistance to the administrator.

The name of the administrator along with other relevant details concerning his appointment will be given in the court order.

India’s star paddler Manika Batra had filed a case in September last year accusing Roy of asking her to lose a match so that his student Sitirtha Mukherjee qualifies for the Summer Games.

At Tokyo Olympics, the world number 56 had refused to be coached by Roy saying she would not have been able to focus on her match if someone who asked to her indulge in match-fixing months earlier was sitting by her side.

Manika Batra had denied allegations in TTFI that said she brought disrepute to the game by refusing Roy’s help after she refused his help in the singles competition of the Tokyo Games. Though Manika’s coach Sanmay Paranjape was given access to training sessions in Tokyo, he did not have the accreditation to enter the field of play and a request to upgrade his access card was denied.

—With

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