Finally the chair umpires were in place officiating in Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school badminton tournament at the North Indian Association courts yesterday. Following MiD DAY's report published on Wednesday about players themselves officiating matches, as many as five chair umpires were seen doing duties at the school meet.
Though MSSA badminton secretary SL Pol wasn't ready to accept they were at fault, it wasn't at all difficult to understand how things got streamlined within a couple of days. "Even before it was reported, we did have umpires officiating matches. But now we have five umpires for the job and there wasn't any difficulty in conducting the event. It is difficult to get umpires for the event and it is the Maharashtra Badminton Association's (MBA) responsibility to provide us umpires. But the MBA was unable to get us umpires," Pol told MiD DAY.
Reacting to the allegation, MBA secretary Sunder Shetty claimed that MSSA doesn't come under the banner of MBA. But it is the Greater Mumbai Badminton Association (GMBA) which is supposed to arrange umpires for the school event. "MSSA doesn't come under the jurisdiction of the MBA. In Mumbai, there are just one or two qualified chair umpires while Pune has quite a few. Even during other events, former players usually officiate matches," Shetty said.