'No split in SFI; it is a complete unit'

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Chandigarh, Jun 27 (UNI) Categorically denying any split in the Softball Federation of India (SFI), newly elected president Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi claimed that elections held in the 37th annual General Body Meeting here on June 24 were ''legitimate and genuine.'' Addressing a press conference here today, Rana Gurmeet Sodhi said, ''there was no split in the federation. It is a complete body. In Chandigarh AGM secretaries from 22 states and Union Territories were present. No executive meeting was held in New Delhi as claimed by Prem Singh Bajore.'' Sodhi, who is also the president of the Chandigarh Olympic Association, added, ''Prem Singh Bajore is a one-man army. He is a Member of Parliament and being a politician he may try to mislead the Indian Olympic Association.'' Rana Gurmit Sodhi said he would meet Prem Singh Bajore and talk on the issue of promoting softball from the grass root level.

''We have informed the IOA about the SFI elections which were unanimous and conducted according to the guidelines of the constitution.

''Immediately after the elections were over, I spoke to the IOA secretary general Raja Randhir Singh and Dr Lalit Bhanot,'' Sodhi told mediapersons.

Praveen Anaokar of Madhya Pradesh and Surat Singh Kalet of Himachal Pradesh were also unanimously elected secretary general and treasurer, respectively.

Former SFI acting Secretary Roop Lal Sharma, secretary of Chandigarh Softball Association, has taken over the chairmanship.

Replying to a question, Rana Sodhi said, ''the remaining office-bearers would be nominated after the Beijing Olympics.

''Various committees and sub-committees would also be formed and representation will be given to all states and Union Territories,'' he informed.

Keeping in view the interest of the players in mind, Rana Sodhi, former Punjab Sports Minister, said, ''getting due recognition and affiliation from the IOA will be our priority.

Beginning with the SFI's request to the IOA to give provisional affiliation immediately so that students seeking admission from sports quota should get benefit.'' Sodhi said besides taking the game to the grass root level, the SFI would also organise nationals and all open tournaments.

The sports calendar would also be prepared.

''The players will be given enough exposure by sending them abroad and also inviting foreign teams for competitions. We will also host international tournaments,'' said Sodhi.

Manipur will conduct the Junior Nationals in October and Sub-Junior Nationals will be conducted in Orissa.

Secretaries of these states stood up to confirm the hosting of these nationals by their respective states.


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