Azhar’s `interest` in badminton opposed
New Delhi: Former India cricket captain and Congress MP Mohammad Azharuddin’s decision to contest for the post of president of Badminton Association of India created a major uproar with 22 out of the 28 state badminton bodies registering their objections against the decision to give a go ahead to the tainted former cricketer.
According to sources, at least 22 of the state badminton associations have written letters to the Badminton Association of India, seeking the revocation of Azhar’s candidature as he is serving a life ban imposed on him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.
Azharuddin created a stir with his announcement to fight in the election with BAI President VK Verma questioning his eligibility since he still was serving a life ban slapped by the cricket board on match fixing charges.
"My decision to contest for the post of President of Badminton Association of India (BAI) was taken after fully considering the eligibility criteria for the post," Azharuddin said in a statement.
Azharuddin, who announced his willingness to contest the BAI elections on Saturday, said Verma`s allegations were "motivated" and that he had approached government to ensure a free and fair election.
"The statement made by the incumbent President is motivated and raises concerns that free and fair elections may not be held, for which I have already approached the ministry concerned," Azharuddin said.
Ironically, the current president VK Verma himself faces opposition as his tenure has exceeded 12 years, a limit recently set by the sports ministry for all heads of various sports bodies in the country.