Commonwealth Games 2018: India to miss beach volleyball's debut in event due to federation's infighting

While the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, will be the first edition of the event to host beach volleyball, India will be missing out on the action as far as the sport is concerned, due to the internal politics of the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI).

According to a report on Sportskeeda, a series of court cases against the VFI has led to the ban of the body, as a result of which they were rendered ineligible to field teams both in indoor and beach volleyball. A feud between rival factions within the organisation has led to VFI's downfall.

 Commonwealth Games 2018: India to miss beach volleyballs debut in event due to federations infighting

Representative image of beach volleyball. Reuters

The VFI was thus suspended both by the Indian sports ministry (which was lifted shortly after) as well as the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) — the organisation in charge of the sport globally.

"The life of a sportsman revolves around such competitions. What he will make of his career is decided by these opportunities," said Om Prakash Bhardwaj, volleyball coach and Dronacharya Awardee, in the report.

The problems in VFI centred around the dispute between president Chaudhary Avadhesh Kumar and secretary Ramavtar Singh Jakhar, with the latter assuming control of the body after elections in 2018. The post of the president is still under contention after Kumar's ouster, with the matter awaiting the verdict of the Supreme Court.

"Our players have lost both opportunities and money because of this case," Jakhar was quoted as saying to The New Indian Express.

While the sport of volleyball isn't exactly one that has fetched India laurels in the past in major events such as the CWG and the Olympics, it enjoys an extensive reach in India, especially among the rural population.

The upcoming Commonwealth Games will take place between 4-15 April at Gold Coast, with the beach volleyball event taking place at the Coolangatta Beachfront.

Beach volleyball had never been included in any of the previous editions in the 78-year history of the Games, with indoor volleyball yet to make its mark.

Updated Date: Mar 30, 2018 19:11:56 IST

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