Future of Kerala table tennis players at risk due to split in association

Kozhikode: The ongoing discrepancies and split in Table Tennis Association in Kerala have placed the players in a tough spot. Currently, there are two governing bodies in Kerala, the Table Tennis Association of Kerala (TTAK) and the Kerala Table Tennis Association (KTTA).

Recently, the decision of TTAK, the association recognised by the national body TTFI, to debar promising young talent Ajins Saji from all its tournaments in the coming season spurred a controversy. He was debarred from matches for taking part in a championship event under KTTA in Ernakulam district. It is worth noting that KTTA is not recognised by the national body but by the Kerala State Sports Council.

The rift has been ongoing between the two associations since 2016, forcing players to choose between the two bodies to contest in competitions. For players to receive the benefits of the sports council, they should play under KTTA. However, they could only compete in national events by joining TTAK. Though both associations are legally fighting the issue, no actions were taken to mediate the issue through the sports council or National Federation.

TTAK state secretary Michael Mattayi defended action against the player and said that KTTA is intentionally trying to create a problem. Meanwhile, KTTA secretary Vijay Arjandas said that TTAK does not have the power to bar players since the competition he contested was an open tournament.

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