Mumbai: Apprehensive of the outcome of the ongoing stand-off between Badminton Association of India and the Sports Ministry, some of the former players asked BAI to exercise caution and make sure that the shuttlers are not victimised.
BAI and Sports Ministry are engaged in a tug-of-war over the appointment of a government observer at BAI`s June 13 elections in Chennai and the former players advised the federation to mind its steps as it takes on the Ministry.
"Whatever decision the BAI takes should be in the interest of badminton and the players. Players should not be victimised or made to suffer. Indian badminton is doing well of late and we are very hopeful of better performance from the players," said former doubles specialist Leroy D`Sa.
At loggerheads with the Ministry over its upcoming elections, BAI has become the first National Sports Federation after the Indian cricket board to claim financial self-sufficiency and refuse government aid.
"We are self sufficient. We do not need any funds from the government in future. We have lined up a lot of sponsors," BAI President V K Verma, who has been in office for the past 12 years, told reporters.
Vimal Kumar, a former national singles champion who is now into coaching at Bangalore, lauded the decision of BAI not to depend on government fund but at the same time requested the sports body to exercise caution in dealing with the Sports Ministry.
"I feel BAI should not totally reject the government`s guidelines which may affect a small proportion of performing sports administrators as well as a majority of non-performers. I feel they should take the government along. We need the government`s support," he said.