The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) has provisionally suspended the governing body of volleyball in India, Volleyball Federation of India, over internal dispute within the federation. The action was taken by the FIVB after a meeting of its administrative board just over a week ago in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In a statement, FIVB general director Fabio Azevado said the suspension was made at the behest of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).
“Upon the request of AVC and pursuant to articles 16.1.1 (C), 17.2 and 19.1 of the FIVB Disciplinary Regulations, the FIVB Board of Administration took the decision to provisionally suspend the Volleyball Federation of India until this dispute is solved,” the statement said.
“The FIVB determined that the Volleyball Federation of India is unable to properly govern and administer the sport of volleyball in India due to the present dispute. This dispute has been ongoing since early 2016 without any resolution in sight. The present dispute in India now qualifies as an urgent matter requiring swift and immediate action given that this dispute has had an impact on the Volleyball Federation of India’s ability to organise volleyball competitions,” said the statement.
This is the latest fallout over an internal power struggle for Indian volleyball. The AVC already removed the 2018 Women’s World Championship Central Zone qualification tournament from India. A spokesperson for the AVC says that Indian national teams won’t be allowed to participate in international tournaments without direct approval of the Indian Olympic Association.
In February, the VFI suspended 10 members, including its CEO, executive vice-president, and treasurer, after being accused of attending an “invalid core meeting” called by the executive vice-president Rajkumar on February 22nd. The so-called “core committee” has been accused of trying to sabatoge activities of the Indian professional league, including a new logo release earlier this year, among other things.
The FIVB has appointed an ad-hoc commission, chaired by Puerto Rico’s Jaime Lamboy and joined by South Africa’s Vasavan Samuel and Japan’s Tomohiro Tohyama, and will liaise with both sides of the dispute.
India’s women’s team is currently ranked 55th in the world by the FIVB and their men’s team is ranked 39th. India is a growing volleyball power, with most of their junior teams being ranked inside of the world’s top 35 – including the women’s U23 team that currently ranks 24th in the world.