Anonymous said: Wait, why hasn't India had nationals in two years?
As with anything in India, it’s thanks to corrupt, greedy politicians and an inefficient bureaucracy.
Basically, there are two different gymnastics federations in India: The Indian Gymnastics Association (IGA) and the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI).
Both the IGA and GFI claim to the “sole representative of gymnasts in India”. Both federations field separate national teams (for all disciplines) and both have held separate national championships (each stylized as the “Indian National Gymnastics Championships”) up until two years ago. And neither recognizes the other as legitimate. A huge problem is that Indian gymnasts are split between these two federations; some are registered with one and the rest with the other.
However, the FIG only recognizes one of these federations are representative of Indian gymnastics: GFI. Just the fact that the FIG recognizes one and not the other might seem enough for the Indian government to only go with the GFI and cancel the charter of the IGA.
But alas, welcome to the beauty that is Indian bureaucracy. The Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport has chosen to back neither of the federations. The reason for this is because there is currently a lawsuit pending in the Indian courts (I believe it’s in one of the high courts right now) as to which one these is the sole Indian gymnastics federation. The courts in India have not decided on which is the sole federation of Indian gymnasts, yet, but what they did do is freeze all activities of both federations back in 2012. So, this included the temporary ban on holding Indian National Gymnastics Championships.
Both the GFI and IGA have huge political clout due to having board members tied to many different politicians in India, so it will be a long time until this issue is settled.
However, I was just on the GFI’s website, and it seems that the GFI has held National Championships in 2013 regardless of the court ban. I can’t find anything on the IGA, though, so I can only assume that the IGA didn’t.
Because of the FIG’s backing, the GFI tends to draw more gymnasts in India to register with them rather than with the IGA, but the IGA still retains “national teams”.
So far, the two national teams compete with each other, but the GFI is the one that sends teams abroad.
The Ministry of Youth affairs and Sport has said that it will wait for the court decision before dissolving one federation and consolidating all of the gymnasts into the other.
However, given the slowness of the Indian justice system, this could take years. I’m just happy that at the very least, there are still Indian gymnasts being sent abroad to compete, even if they haven’t had a national championships.
Officially, though, like I said, both federations are banned from doing anything, but it looks like the GFI is determined to win this. Hopefully Indian gymnasts aren’t the ones who end up suffering anymore than the IGA’s registered gymnasts already do.
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Commonwealth Games 2014 || Claudia Fragapane qualifies to BB Finals in 1st place
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