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India - Scheduling conflict for badminton league, boxing in turmoil and IPL 2014 corruption crackdown

Friday, 11 April 2014 By Manali Kulkarni

In this weeks Indian Sport Law Blog, Manali Kulkarni provides an update on the Badminton World Federation’s regulations and the Indian Badminton League tournament; Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF); Trainer CD Katrak suspended by the Royal Western India Turf Club; N. Srinivasan status as BCCI representative in the ICC questioned; and, The Sports Ministry requests the BCCI for information on IPL-2014 tournament.

BWF’s regulations may affect participation in the upcoming Indian Badminton League tournament

The Times of India has drawn our attention to scheduling problems affecting the upcoming Indian Badminton League (“IBL”) tournament, as it transpires that the The Badminton World Federation’s (BWF’s) Player Commitment Regulations (the “Regulations”) effectively prohibit India’s two most senior players from competing.

Paragraph 1.3 of the Regulations states that:

"Failure to play in any BWF Superseries Premier, by a player committed to the BWF Superseries Premier via the BWF World ranking [i.e. the top 10]..... will be considered a breach of Competition regulations and - in addition to General Competition Regulations 31. Penalties – 31.2 Withdrawal Offence - [the player] will receive a US$ 5,000 additional penalty over and above normal withdrawal fees. In addition, BWF will have the right to consider further penalties after consideration by the Disciplinary Committee."

So, effectively, the Regulations require top 10 players to compete in all BWF Super Series Premier, else they not only incur the usual withdrawal fees, but also an additional set fine and any further penalty the Disciplinary Committee may see fit.

Consequently, when the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced its dates for the second Indian Badminton League (IBL) tournament, from September 30 to October 15, clashing with the Denmark Super Series beginning October 14, they effectively rendered India's top players, Saina Nehwal (World no.8) and PV Sindhu (World no.9), unable to compete.

Paragraph 1.4 of the Regulations provide an exception in the case of injury, but of course that will be difficult to invoke should the player compete in a concurrent tournament.

The BAI has not made an official statement concerning the scheduling conflict, but has suggested that the players "may have to leave midway in this condition or the dates would have to be reworked." This is not the ideal schedule for the IBL tournament; however, with the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games later this year, the BAI has limited rescheduling options.

With the success of the first IBL tournament last year, the organizers have decided to "increase the number of players in the tournament (from) 11 to 13 with the maximum number of foreigners in a team raised to six" for the second edition. However, even with more players participating, it would appear that the quality and level of play in the second edition of the IBL tournament may already be compromised by the conflict.

In 2011, the Indian Premier League (IPL) faced a similar scheduling conflict with the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Programme. Here are a few related articles:

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Written by

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is currently a fourth year JD Candidate at the University of Maine School of Law. She was the COO at LawInSport and continues to be an executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University). She is currently the legal extern for the Professional Collegiate League, and also serves as an intern for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. 

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