With the clock ticking down for the Asian Games in China this year, the Sports Authority of India officials on Friday met top equestrian players to resolve the issue of team selection for the Games in Hangzhou.
The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) has come under fire for its selection policy through which it has tried to exclude Olympian Fouaad Mirza and youngsters Chirag Khandal and Shashank Singh Kataria.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials on Friday interacted with Fouaad Mirza, Chirag Khandal and Shashank Singh Kataria via Zoom regarding their grievances on non-selection in the long list for the upcoming Asian Games.
The SAI officials that interacted with the players include Shiv Sharma, Deputy Director General (DDG).
“While Chirag Khandal informed SAI that the Supreme Court has directed the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) to include his name in the Asian Games long list, Tokyo Olympian Fouaad Mirza and Shashank Kataria requested for inclusion of their names in the Asian Games long list. All the players opined that a fair and transparent selection should be done in picking the equestrian players for the event,” SAI said in the statement.
SAI has taken cognizance of the matter and informed EFI to take a suitable decision on the same as soon as possible.
For selecting the squad for the Asian Games, which were postponed from 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, EFI has set new Minimum Eligibility Requirement criteria, rejecting the previous MER scores, claiming that these scores were valid only for one year.
The Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou from September 23 to October 8, 2023.