Indian fencers not allowed to take part under national flag

India's junior fencing team will not be able to participate in the Asian Junior & Cadet Championship scheduled to be held in Thailand under national flag owing to IOC's ban on India and this move could also hit the progress of the game as government may stop funding.

Following IOC's ban on India in December last year, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) had suspended the national body but the Indian fencers have been allowed to take part in the March 2-11 Asian event in Thailand under the banner of Fencing Confederation of Asia.

If the fencers take part in the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships under the FCA banner, it will be the first time in India's sports history to represent an international entity.

The fencers are also still uncertain to take part even under the FCA banner as they have to find private sponsors as the government have not responded to their request for financial help with just a week left for the event.

Even in normal times, the fencers have been given help on case by case basis as the Fencing Association of India does not get government grant as the sport is now in the 'other sport' category of the ministry.

"The international fencing federation has assured the suspension will be lifted but that can happen only by a decision of its Executive Committee and its meeting is coming up only in April and so there will be no lifting of the suspension till that time.

"But the FCA has allowed Indian fencers to participate under its banner in Thailand," Fencing Association of India (FAI) Secretary General Sanjay Pradhan told PTI.

"But the problem is FAI does not have fund because we no longer get government grant as fencing has been placed in other category by sports ministry and we do not have private sponsors.

... contd.

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