Alappuzha (Kerala): The clampdown on age-fraud cases by the Table Tennis Federation of India has apparently forced North Bengal Table Tennis Association to call back its entire junior girls team that was to compete at the 76th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships.
Even as a few team members had landed in Alappuzha in advance for the 76th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships that began today, the NBTTA, which had sent online entries before the last date for the championships, withdrew all names without citing any reason.
In fact, some of the players had to return home midway through their journey to this district town from host town Alleppey.
Talking on the pullout by the North Bengal team, TTFI secretary-general Dhanraj Choudhary said it was unfortunate. "But I am happy we are getting the desired results. Maybe, it is the impact of the medical board that we have constituted here to go into overage cases. We have imposed strict guidelines to put a complete end to this menace," said Choudhary.
The TTFI office-bearer also said that it has taken a conscious decision following its executive board meeting held last month in New Delhi.
"Our executive board had unanimously decided to suspend all players who have had two birth certificates. As a result we have spotted more than a dozen cases and intimated the respective state associations. A majority of them are from North Bengal and West Bengal," he added.
In some cases even West Bengal had recalled some players and instead sent in fresh entries raising suspicion. Meanwhile, at the end of the qualification round in junior girls section, 16 teams from eight groups entered the main draw.
The pre-quarterfinals in this section will take place only tomorrow. Most of the teams won their matches easily while Pondicherry and Gujarat were stretched to the full distance by Goa and Chandigarh respectively.