Rival basketball Assn takes club route to develop game

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Tiruchirapalli, Apr 29 (UNI) The rival Tamil Nadu Basketball Association today announced an ambitious plan to give a fillip to the game in the state by starting 1,000 basketball clubs.

Association Chairman and popular actor D Napolean told newspersons here that five villages in every revenue district of the state would be selected shortly and 1,000 basketball clubs started in these villages. Each club would provide training to 20 players, he added.

Mr Napolean, who is here in connection with the inauguration of a state-level five-day basketball tournament for boys and girls (Under-18), said the initiative was aimed at preparing a good number of talented basketball players from the rural areas. They also proposed to bring in reputed coaches from the US.

He alleged that the existing Association headed by Dhyaneshwaran did not take up any activity for the game's development. He did not even submit the accounts of the Association for annual audit. When his Association took up this administrative lapse with the authorities concerned, Mr Dhyaneshwaran hurriedly submitted the accounts for 2007-08, but it was rejected on technical grounds, he claimed.

Mr Napolean charged Mr Dhyaneshwaran with changing the bylaws of the Association to suit him without intimating the other office bearers, besides involving in corrupt practices and swindling the Association's money.

Association President S M Hidayathullah claimed that of the 280 basketball clubs in the state, 260 extended support to their rival Association and out of 31 District Basketball Associations, 18 district office bearers backed them.

Mr Napolean informed that Basketball Federation of India(BFI) Secretary General Hari Sharma had asked them to file supportive documents and game activities for getting affiliation. Hence, they have decided to conduct state-level tournaments all over the state.

Later, speaking at the inaugural of the tournament, he claimed that the maiden tournament organised by his Association had attracted teams from all the districts.

He said a state-level basketball tournament was being planned for men and women at Karur from May seven to 11, in which about 50 teams were expected to participate.

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