Chess Players Forum asks AICF to withdraw appeal against CCI order

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Jun 26th, 2020, 19:27:04hrs

He also demanded that if the AICF is a player friendly sports body it should withdraw its appeal filed with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) 2018 order.

"The players are now worried and concerned that the central government may withdraw its recognition to AICF if the two warring factions in the Indian chess body do not settle their dispute by September 30, 2020. In case of derecognition, Indian players may not be able to represent the nation," International Master (IM) Varugeese Koshy, President, Chess Players Forum, told IANS.

The AICF is split into two factions -- one headed by President P.R. Venketrama Raja and the other by Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan.

The central government in a letter addressed to Raja and Chauhan on May 20 referring to the disputes in the management of AICF said: "AICF may resolve the issues concerning management of All India Chess Federation by September 30, 2020."

Going by the intensity of the fight between the Raja and Chauhan factions and the serious allegations levelled by them against each other, the chess fraternity does not expect them to patch up.

"The two warring factions are not active chess players. The fight is for power. It is only the real chess players who will be affected in case of derecognition," Koshy said.

"This communication by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is alarming, and we are trying to decipher the message behind the ultimatum. If the Ministry's notion is to derecognise AICF in case the current mess is not resolved, it might be disaster for Chess Players of India," the CPF had tweeted.

Koshy said the derecognition of 54 National Sports Federations including the AICF is only a procedural issue and will be resolved quickly.

The newly formed CPF has about 80 members including several IMs, Grandmasters (GM) and untitled players to give a voice to chess players, Koshy said.

According to Koshy, if the AICF is truly player friendly then it should withdraw its appeal against the CCI's order of 2018.

On July 12, 2018, the CCI had ruled that the undertaking prescribed for players regarding non-participation in events not authorised by it amounted to "restraints" and was violative of the Competition Act of 2002.

Two chess players -- Karun Duggal and Gurpreet Pal Singh -- have been fighting a long battle against the AICF for over 10 years after they were banned for playing in a chess tournament not authorised by the Indian chess body.

"The last hearing at NCLAT was held in February or March this year when the counsel appearing for AICF asked for further time. Then the next hearing was fixed in April. Owing to the Covid-19 lockdown the hearing did not take place," Singh a former National Junior Champion told IANS.