EFI “without excuses” blames the OC partner; India Championship qualifier in India canceled | More sports news

NEW DELHI: The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) on Saturday dismissed responsibility for its Delhi-based organizing committee (OC) – Equiwings Sports – for the embarrassing ‘goof-up’ that resulted in the suspension of four Indian riders by the International Tent Pegging Federation (ITPF) for identity theft. Participants competed as citizens of Nepal in the Tent Pegging World Cup qualifiers in Greater Noida from March 16-18.
While EFI’s internal investigation into the fraud is still ongoing despite the incident eight months ago, Federation Secretary General Col. Jaiveer Singh told TOI that Equiwings Sports should have do due diligence to check the background of “bogus” Nepalese runners.
“The OC made a terrible mistake. Let me give you an example: when you check in at an Indian hotel, the staff will ask for your PAN or Aadhar card. Likewise, when traveling to a foreign country, the hotel staff there apply for your passport Here in horse races we have the CO of international events who takes care of everything from welcoming the participants at the airport until their transfer to the official hotel of the teams.
“The CO people will take their passports and give them to hotel staff for the purpose of allocating rooms to participants. So it was the CO’s job and not the federation,” said Col Singh oddly.
“The CO is independent of how it functions and EFI has no say. It is not EFI’s job to verify the (nationality of) participants. We have so many events going on. in India it is not possible for EFI to check everywhere whether the participant who played is an Indian citizen or someone from a foreign country competed. Yes, EFI naturally blames Equiwings Sports. We have now started to write in our tournament flyer that it will be the responsibility of the CO to verify nationality, “he added.
However, the EFI’s own statutes stipulate: Chapter 1 “Objectives and principles” paragraphs 5 and 6: “To assign, approve the equestrian competition programs organized under the aegis of EFI in India and exercise control over their organization technique and their actual conduct. ”“ Encourage the holding of competitions, provide technical know-how and promote the highest level of organization ”. It is beyond comprehension how come the EFI did not know that the Indians were disguising themselves as Nepalese competitors as it oversaw the technical conduct of the WC qualifiers as mandated by its own statutes. .
Colonel Singh informed that the federation has neither apologized to the ITPF nor banned its four Indian runners who participated as Nepalese citizens, as reported by the international body headquartered in Oman. In its letter dated August 18, 2021, the ITPF wrote: “In the event of no response from EFI within 21 days, the WC qualification in India will be canceled, and the qualifications will be repeated with the participation of all country according to the pre-approved schedule. ”
EFI’s unapologetic attitude meant that the qualifying event in India was scrapped and the results of the championships, where the Indian riders had reached the first position, became null and void. India had qualified for the World Cup scheduled in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2023 by finishing first among the five participating nations. Now the ITPF will hold further qualifying if they wish and Indian riders will have to go through the qualifying process again to qualify for the WC.
Five teams participated in the event: India, Pakistan, Belarus, the United States and Nepal. Of the seven competitions held during qualifying, India won six gold medals and one bronze to finish first with a total of 515 points and advance to the World Cup. Pakistan came second and was followed by Nepal in third place. The Indian horsemen who represented Nepal at the Tent Pegging WC were Yogender, Gulam Mohamed, Kapil and Vinay Kumar. However, while representing the Nepalese team, the results sheet mentioned their names as Yogandar, Golam, Kepil and Vinay.
Col Singh informed that the Investigation Committee led by Col Rakesh Nair (retired) will submit their report by the first week of December and, based on their findings, the EFI will respond appropriately to the ITPF questions. “Colonel Nair is doing this as a courtesy. He is the chairman of the investigation committee. He therefore had to cross-examine the witnesses in September and October. Now they are close to completing the investigation and hopefully the report will be submitted to EFI by the first week of December. Colonel Nair is doing his best. It burns the midnight oil. It should also be understood that there was also the second wave of Covid-19. ”
Col Singh offered a rationale from EFI and said approval for the Nepalese team’s participation in the event came from the ITPF itself. “The ITPF hosts the World Cup qualifiers every few years and there are 29 countries that are members. They have been divided into Groups A, B, C and D. India is among the Group B countries. and we held our WC qualifiers. Nepal on the other hand is in the C countries. Nepal probably took the permission to participate from the ITPF and changed its group from C to B to participate to the India qualifiers. I received the mail in this regard on March 15, 2021 from the ITPF. We had our AGM on March 21 where this matter was brought to our attention that the Indians played for the Nepal: EFI made an initial investigation and ordered an investigation into the matter, bringing in five prominent people from the federation to investigate the matter. EFI was also instrumental in identifying that this so called “Nepalese tent picketing federation” is a fake federation registered in With the ITPF since 2019. So in that way we are the whistleblowers who actually brought this to the attention of the ITPF. Later, the second of Covid-19 arrived, which delayed things. Now the witnesses have all been cross-examined and the committee will be submitting its report shortly. On this basis, we will take the necessary measures. There were many questions that EFI on behalf of the Board of Inquiry had posed to the ITPF but they chose not to answer. ”
“Then, one fine day, the ITPF suddenly sent us this letter informing us that the runners were banned. We had told the ITPF in March-April that this was the preliminary report and we admit that some Indians participated for Nepal. We have formed our own commission of inquiry and every time the report reaches us it will also be shared with you. But in August (August 18) they made an ex parte decision involving us which is contrary to the principle of natural justice. The ITPF also has its own flaws, “said Colonel Singh.


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