Vacant Positions Threaten India’s Table Tennis Prospects at Paris 2024 Olympics

The current problems in the TTFI ahead of Paris 2024 Olympics not only put table tennis players' futures at risk but also weaken the government's efforts to support sports


Ahmedabad : Yatharth Pandya, president of the Sports Activists Association of India (SAAI), has escalated concerns regarding the vacant executive committee (EC) positions within the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), issuing a legal notice to the President-secretary generation of TTFI and the secretary (sports) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games fast approaching, Pandya emphasizes the urgency of filling these critical positions to ensure fair elections and compliance with legal regulations.

The forthcoming Paris Olympics holds immense significance for Indian table tennis, with hopes pinned on the national team for a remarkable performance. However, the void created by the vacancies within the TTFI executive committee has compounded existing issues, impeding effective decision-making and sidelining the involvement of sports personalities and capable organizations.

Vacant Positions Threaten India's Table Tennis Prospects at Paris 2024 Olympics
Yatharth Pandya, president of Sports Activists Association of India

“I have urged the TTFI and Sports Ministry to address this pressing issue and establish a transparent framework by engaging with empowered officials within the federation,” said Pandya, a sports activist and former National Table Tennis player. “The current problems in the TTFI not only put players’ futures at risk but also weaken the government’s efforts to support sports.”

Pandya’s legal notice accentuates the TTFI’s vulnerability to derecognition or disaffiliation due to its failure to conduct free and fair elections and adhere to the National Sports Development Code of India. Despite judicial and legislative guidelines, the TTFI’s constitution lacks compliance with mandated inclusion of eminent sports personalities in decision-making bodies.

Highlighting the specifics, Pandya revealed that Nagendra Reddy and Moirangthen Bapin Kumar vacated their positions in 2024, leaving the treasurer’s role vacant just ahead of the Paris Olympics. This vacancy, coupled with four other unfilled positions, poses a significant shortage of officials in the NSF’s governing body, potentially jeopardizing the sportspersons’ prospects.

It’s not the first time Pandya has raised concerns. He previously issued a legal notice dated 06.11.2023 to TTFI and the Sports secretary of the Government of India regarding the Gujarat State Table Tennis Association (GSTTA) vacant governing body position. However, no response or action has been forthcoming, underscoring the urgency of the current situation.

The looming Paris Olympics necessitates immediate action to address the governance crisis within the TTFI. Failure to do so not only undermines the aspirations of Indian table tennis athletes but also reflects poorly on India’s commitment to promoting and supporting sports at the national level.