BFI files petition against sports ministry for ‘interference’

Bengaluru, June 26 (IANS) The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court accusing the sports ministry of damaging the prospects of the game in the country by “unnecessarily, illegally” not allowing the BFI to host sporting events given to them by the International Basketball Association (FIBA).

BFI said FIBA asked it to hold the South Asian Basketball Association championship (SABA) and also the qualifying round of the 28th FIBA Asian Championship here from July 3 to 5.

But BFI alleges the sports ministry is not allowing them to host the tournaments.

BFI said it had started preparations for the events and selected 24 players from the 65th Senior National Basketball Championships, held from December 29 last year to January 5 this year, to attend ongoing training camps here.

BFI said the ministry issued a letter on June 12 asking the federation not to host the events.

“On 12th June 2015, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India while exceeding jurisdiction and asked the Basketball Federation of India not to hold any event by issuing this letter. The sports ministry has damaged prospects of the game in the country by unnecessarily, illegally and arbitrarily asking Basketball Federation of India not to hold the event,” BFI said in a release on Friday.

Acting on the writ petition filed by BFI on Thursday, the Karnataka High Court issued an interim stay order on the sports ministry’s June 12 letter.

The court said this communication “shall not be treated as a bar for considering issue of visas to the players and officials to participate in the tournament to be conducted by the petitioner from 3rd to 5th July, 2015,” according to the release.

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