AFI postpones elections, extends mandate of office holders during online meeting

NEW DELHI: The Federation of Athletics of India on Saturday he postponed his elections and extended the mandate of his office holders during a special general meeting that was held online, the first among national sports organizations.

Titular president Adille Sumariwalla He was elected to his second term in April 2016, and the AFI It was due to hold the ballot boxes last month at its Annual General Assembly, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the federation to postpone the elections.

Saturday's meeting did not specify any date for holding the elections but the AFI said they can be held when a physical meeting becomes possible.

Sumariwalla was empowered to make a decision on the date of the elective Annual General Assembly in consultation with high-ranking colleagues.

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There is no fixed time, the elections will be held at the first opportunity. We do not want to postpone the elections for a year. It may be three months or six months, we don't know now, he said. .

It was important that we followed due process though the members had approved the proposal to extend the term of AFI, I added.

He said the AFI had initiated the election procedure by appointing a Returning Officer and securing the nomination of delegates from among the members.

But that had to be canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, he said.

The AFI accepted International Olympic Committee (IOA) member and IOA president Narinder Dhruv Batra 's suggestion that the elections could be deferred until a physical meeting becomes possible. Batra addressed the AFI members as a special guest.

Treasurer PK Srivastava told PTI that the AFI has informed the sports ministry about the postponement of the elections.

We have already informed the ministry about this. They (ministry) have no issues with it. Normally, the AFI elections are held in April but under our constitution, the takeover of charge normally happens in October, he said.

The members were also informed about the appointment of incumbent AFI secretary C K Valson as competition director of the Asian Athletics Association Based in Bangkok.

Sumariwalla said the AFI would soon introduce an online pre-Level 1 coaching module so that parents and coaches of young athletes can inculcate the right training habits in them.

We have had several talented athletes suffering from early exhaustion due to overtraining and early specialization, he said.

We want to have 5,000 coaches in 600 districts in the next 10 years.

The meeting started with Sumariwalla paying tribute to the former head coach Joginder Singh Saini who died in Patiala on March 1.