AFI president clarifies age criteria confusion
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla yesterday clarified that a confusion in the eligibility rules led to the selection of overage athletes for the ongoing second Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China.
Sumariwalla told IANS that AFI went by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) rules whereas the organisers applied the rules set by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
“In this case we had to go by IAAF rules according to which athletes born post-1996 were eligible. Moreover, the organisers issued visas to the participants knowing fully well the age mentioned in their passports.
But only after reaching there we came to know of the criteria applied by the organisers — those born between 1997 to 1999 (i.e. 14 to 16 years of age in 2013),” Sumariwalla told IANS.
Sumariwalla said AFI is not affiliated to the OCA and had to follow IAAF rules while sending player for the Youth Games. The 18 athletes were part of the 27-member Indian athletics squad. They were told to pack and fly back without competing, leaving the squad severely depleted in important disciplines.