Thiruvananthapuram: The Uttarakhand volleyball team on Monday withdrew from the ongoing 35th National Games owing to a dispute with the national federation over the players' participation in the upcoming National Club Volleyball Championships (NCBC).
Scheduled to play Rajasthan in a preliminary match here, players from the north Indian state of Uttarakhand decided to boycott the Games after the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) refused to allow the participation of players attached with ONGC in the Championships later this year.
"The Uttarakhand players held talks with the Federation officials and demanded that they be allowed to participate in NCBC. The Federation, after denying them participation in the National Championships last month, barred them from NCBC as well," a team official said.
"The players decided that they could not compete on the whims and fancies of the National Federation and decided to withdraw from the competition, giving Rajasthan a walkover," he said.
The players allege that Volleyball Federation of India President Avadhesh Kumar was being vindictive towards the ONGC players, most of whom are in the state team.
"The Uttarakhand is almost entirely made of players, who represented India in the Asian Games last year, including state captain Navjeet Singh. It is unfair that players of such calibre are being asked to dance to the tunes of one man without any sound reason," another official stated.
The Indian volleyball team had sprung quite a surprise at the Asian Games by finishing a creditable fifth in the competition after beating some more fancied teams.