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NEW DELHI: The AITA today outrightly rejected the rebel players’ fresh demands, saying their inclusion in the Executive or Selection Committees is not possible unless they enter the national federation through elections. AITA also categorically said the three-member committee it has formed to resolve the ongoing crisis would go ahead with its work and if players make themselves available, they will be considered for selection.
Somdev Devvarman, who is leading the players’ revolt, has gone a step further by asking the national federation to re-constitute its Executive and Selection Committees by having 50 per cent players representation in the two bodies.

The AITA had acceded to most of the earlier demands put forward by them such as increased share in Davis Cup prize money, business class airfare, change in support staff apart from agreeing to consult the players while choosing the surface and the venue for the home ties.

“We want to resolve it honestly but I think the players have agreed to only disagree. Some people are playing petty politics from outside and in the process they are jeopardizing the careers of several players,” AITA CEO Hirnomoy Chatterjee told PTI from Kolkata.

“They have very little knowledge of how the federation is formed and how it works. If they want to come into AITA and make changes, they are welcome but first they need to get elected in a state association, which would then nominate them to the national body. How can they think of coming directly?” he asked.

“It is like holding the country to ransom. They are destroying the careers of young players.”

Chatterjee contended that even if they want to have players’ representation, it was not possible.

“We follow the IOC Charter, government’s sports code and the constitutions of both the ITF and the AITA. Based on that, there is no scope to do what they are saying since the constitution does not permit it,” he said.

Chatterjee said since AITA was sincere in its efforts to resolve the issues, it has written to Somdev asking for his suggestions on the surface to be chosen for the next tie in April against Indonesia.

“Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association has offered to host the tie. Theirs are medium-fast bouncy courts. So we have asked for Somdev’s viewpoint on this. If they are okay with it, we will host the tie there,” he said.

“Further, we are discussing Somdev’s latest mail and we will respond to him in due course.”

The players have expressed reservations over the three-member committee formed to resolve the crisis, fearing bias but AITA said it would go ahead with its work.

“The Committee will do its job. If the players make themselves available, only then they will be considered for selection,” he said

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