Jan 01, 2018

Badminton: BWF lifts ban on Sri Lanka

There is hope for the Lankan shuttlers to be a part of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April next year.

On Saturday (20) evening according to a communiqué issued by the Sports Ministry the ban on Badminton imposed by the Badminton World Federation has been lifted.

The Commonwealth Games authorities have made a deadline upto December 31, 2017, to clear up matters so that they could allow Sri Lanka Badminton to be a part of the Gold Coast Games.

The ban was imposed after the local sports authorities appointed an interim committee in violation of the world body's rules.

On October 24, the Badminton World Federation (BWF)'s Secretary General Thomas Lund in a letter to the Lankan Badminton Interim Committee Chairman Nishantha Jayasinghe informed the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) that under clause 13.5 of the BWF constitution, they had been suspended.

The World Badminton body at that point had determined that the SLBA was not in a position to govern the sport in an independent and autonomous manner under clauses 5.2 and 5.3 of the BWF constitution.

According to clause 13.10 of the WBF constitution, a suspended member of the BWF shall be deprived of all rights of membership.

This is a result of a delegation led by Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera travelled to Dubai to meet the BWF authorities and explain matters to the WBF authorities to lift the ban so that the Lankan players would be a part of the Gold Coast Games.

Earlier the SLBA had held an election but it did so without going through the proper audited accounts.

"So we had to cancel the election and at present there is also a legal plaint filed in courts. We explained to the BWF authorities that unlike in other countries, in Sri Lanka most sports have to be propped up by government funds so that activities of such sports have to be audited by the Auditor General’s Department and the ministry cannot permit any association that does not have these credentials to hold office."

According to the communiqué they have permitted to set up an interim committee until proper elections are held for Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA).

The Interim Committee would comprise Nishantha Jayasinghe, Clarence Homer, Mangala Gamage, Rohan de Silva and member appointed Director General of the Department of Sports Development.

The Gold Coast Games will be held from April 5 to 21, 2018. Sri Lanka will take part in athletics, badminton (pending), swimming, diving, boxing, cycling, beach volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling, weightlifting, table tennis, rugby, shooting squash and para-sports.