Sports ministry condemns SLBA suspension
By Campika Fernando
July 25, 2015

Sports Ministry yesterday condemned the suspension of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) by the BadmintonWorld Federation (BWF) and said it would go before the Court of Arbitration for Sports to get the suspension removed.

The world body on Wednesday suspended the membership of its Sri Lankan representative due to political interferences and flaws in the SLBA constitution.

The suspension can only be lifted by amending the SLBAconstitution in line with the BWF constitution, avoiding any direct government interference by way of sports regulations and holding theAnnual General Meeting in accordance with the SLBAconstitution.

“This action by the BWF is unfair, prejudiced, bias and unjust as neither the SLBA nor any other officials of the Ministry of Sports have been given an opportunity to explain or make representations,” a communique by the Sports Ministry stated .

“In these circumstances, the Ministry of Sports and the SLBA will refer this matter to the Tribunal Arbitral Du Sport (Court of Arbitration for Sport) and take all necessary steps to remove the suspension at the earliest,” release added.

The BWF cites despite 18 months of constant deliberation to review the SLBAconstitution and safeguard the independence and autonomy of the SLBA, it had failed to reach an acceptable consensus.

“The Ministry is also unaware of any official being appointed to inquire or verify any matters relating to SLBA by the BWF.,” the release stressed.

The Ministry further states that a letter dated 21st June 2015 addressed to the SLBA by BWF, which was referred to the Sports Minister, was replied by the Minister by letter dated June 29, 2015.

The BWF has determined that the SLBAConstitution does not meet the criteria for on-going membership of the BWF under Clause 8.3 and 8.10 of the BWF Constitution. Furthermore, it has been determined that the SLBAis not able to govern in an independent and autonomous way as required under Clause 5.2 and 5.3 of the BWF Constitution.

The suspension means Sri Lanka will be barred from competing in any BWF sanctioned events, including Olympics, receive sanctioning for any international tournament or event, and attending BWF general meetings.

The release further stated that the Ministry has credible and reliable information that certain unscrupulous elements are conspiring with some international federations to bring disrepute to the country.

“Credible and reliable information has been received that certain office bearers of some sports federations who have been involved in various misdeeds and running the federations according to their whims and fancies and who are affected by the restriction of the application of the Sports Regulations as amended in 2013, are conspiring with some of the International Federations to bring disrepute to the local federations and authorities to gain political mileage not realizing the damage been caused to sports in Sri Lanka,” the release added.

The Ministry communiqué further states that issues have arisen with several International Sports Federations due to the former authorities of the Ministry of Sports not adhering to the Road map agreed upon by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports.

“On assuming duties the Hon. Minister of Tourism and Sports appointed a committee comprising officials of the Ministry and the NOC to complete the undertakings given by the previous administration by 30th June 2015. The said committee completed its task on 26th June 2015 and has forwarded the amended Sport Regulations to the IOC which has requested time till September 2015 to finalize same,” release said.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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