Delhi High Court Suspends Table Tennis Federation of India, Finds National Coach Guilty Of Match-Fixing

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Delhi High Court Suspends Table Tennis Federation of India, Finds National Coach Guilty Of 'Match-Fixing'

The court decided to appoint an administrator for discharging its functions, after perusing the report of a three-member committee constituted by it in 2021 to look into the allegations made by star paddler Manika Batra.

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The Delhi High Court, on Friday, February 11, suspended the Executive Committee of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) for six months and found that national coach Soumyadeep Roy indulged in match-fixing during the Olympic qualifiers in March.

The court decided to appoint an administrator for discharging its functions, after perusing the report of a three-member committee constituted by it in 2021 to look into the allegations made by star paddler Manika Batra.

Justice Rekha Palli stated that the court's faith in the sports body was shaken. According to the committee report, TTFI's conduct prima facie appears to be blameworthy and opined that it was safeguarding the interests of its officials instead of promoting the players.

"The executive committee of the sports body will no longer be allowed to take any decision or interfere with how the Administrator will decide to discharge duties assigned to it under the Code," said the court.

Appointment Of Administrator

However, the court said that since there are many tournaments scheduled in March, the executive committee members are expected to assist the administrator as and when required, The Indian Express reported.

The court will announce the administrator's name, most likely a former judge, and other persons to be appointed with them later in the order copy.

Further, it said that in case an inquiry is not directed to be conducted into the affairs of the sports body and administrator is not appointed to run the federation in the meanwhile by suspending the executive body, the Court will be failing in its duty not only towards the country's sportspersons but also towards the general public.

However, the proceedings were deferred by the court on the question of inquiry as it allowed the parties to examine the committee's report first.

It also said that there is no explanation for why Soumyadeep Roy was appointed the national coach when he is already running his academy and said the committee has termed a conflict of interest.

"The report also shows that the committee also observed that respondent no 3, even after being appointed the national coach by respondent no 1, continued to run his academy. In these circumstances, this Court has left with no option but to appoint an administrator," it said.

On September 23 2021, the court on Batra's plea had stayed the TTFI's rules mandating compulsory attendance of players at the National Coaching Camp for selection for international events. It had also recorded the centre's statement that it will start an independent inquiry into Batra's complaint against the TTFI management, particularly the conduct of national coach Soumyadeep Roy – whom she had accused of repeatedly asking her to lose an Olympic qualifier match in March in favour of one of his trainees at his private academy.

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