Crisis ‘deepens’ between dispute hit J&K Fencing Assn, Ad-hoc Committee

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By Vishal Bharti

Instead of clearing the dust, the crisis between the Jammu and Kashmir Amateur Fencing Association and Ad-hoc Committee working under its banner, has allegedly deepened with each passing day thus adding worries to the fencers about future of the medal winning sport.

Both, the Jammu and Kashmir Amateur Fencing Association and the Adhoc Committee claim to be bona-fide and authorised constituents of J&K Sports Council and Fencing Association of India (FAI), that triggered differences between them since 2021.

The Ad-hoc Committee was framed by FAI (as claimed) in February last year for a period of one year till March 31, 2022, after the death of one of the officials of Jammu and Kashmir Amateur Fencing Association.

FAI also acceded to the request of Ad-hoc committee for extending the term by 6 months to complete the process of registration of District Fencing Associations and accordingly, extension was granted which will come to an end on October 31, 2022.

The Ad-hoc Committee is headed by international fencer and FAI approved referee, Rashid Ahmad Choudhary as its convener under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir Amateur Fencing Association, which is being headed by Ex-Forester, Mukheerjee Sharma nearly for over two decades.

The crisis between both the groups stretched further due to some ‘personal reasons’ as the members are at loggerheads and adamant in amicably resolving the matter once for all.

Speaking to UNI, president of J&K Amateur Fencing Association, Mukherjee Sharma blamed the FAI for the ‘trouble’.

“We are the eligible body affiliated and recognised by the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council and Jammu and Kashmir Olympic Association,” claimed Sharma.

Notably, J&K Sports Council has already de-recognised the J&K Olympic Association in violation of March 2016 guidelines as per the notice issued on July 22, 2022.

“How FAI can declare us “no more legal” when elections were already conducted in the presence of an observer appointed by them. They (FAI) can only de-affiliate us but cannot declare us “no more legal,” the Veteran asserted.

Secondly, he said, “we were told to register district bodies but before that, we were declared “no more legal” and the Ad-hoc Committee was framed.”

“The FAI is playing a ‘foul’. We have no internal bickering. It is the FAI that has created the confusion,” said Sharma.

He said, “we never interfered in the smooth working of the Ad-hoc Committee and perhaps, released funds time to time sanctioned by the J&K Sports Council for the conduct of activities.”

“We did not knock the doors of the judiciary only for the welfare of the fencing and future of the fencers,” Sharma said.

Meanwhile, Ad-hoc Committee convener, Rashid Ahmad Choudhary when contacted told UNI, “we want sports to happen, and it is FAI that recognises us. Presently, no team or fencing activity is treated valid without our approval.”

“The Ad-hoc Committee has a team of experts and technical members,” said Choudhary adding, “we are FAI affiliated and the J&K Sports Council also recognises us.”

“The terms and conditions laid by FAI has to be completed by all means and for the last 18 months, we are conducting the activities,” said the Convener adding, finally, FAI has to take the call on holding the elections, which are already due.
He said that Committee is registering bodies in each and every district and also conducting activities as per the calendar.

“Fifty percent registration of district bodies is mandatory and there are so many hitches in registering a district body in Jammu and Kashmir but, we are on job,” Choudhary said and added that despite differences they never let fencing activity to hamper.

“We conducted regular activities, organised competitions, sent teams for national participation as, we were given the mandate not only by FAI but also by the J&K Sports Council after February 2021,” he said.
“We have no objections if they (Amateur Fencing Association) step forward to join us under one umbrella as per laid norms for the betterment of fencing,” said Choudhary.
Some of the budding fencers however, pleading anonymity told UNI, “why can’t both the bodies work at one platform because it is the fencers, who are on the edge.”

The fencers rued, “due to existing situation, some unwanted elements got access into the affairs of fencing with self-agenda under the patronage of the sports bodies, which is not a healthy sign.”
“It is high time that both FAI and the Sports Council, need to take a final call on this matter,” they said and appealed to the concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, a senior officer in the J&K Sports Council, on the condition of anonymity, said, “the dispute is nothing but ‘clash of egos’ and a ‘power game’ but, we are trying our best to resolve it on a positive note.”

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