The truth can never be hidden
You can fool some people sometimes but you cannot fool all people all times, is an old saying that has special relevance to what is happening to volleyball in Goa today.
I am referring to what is happening to volleyball in India and volleyball in Goa in particular. Like in other associations, Volleyball Federation in India (VFI) is going through a split or something like that and the two main men in the battle are president Avdesh Kumar and secretary Ramvatar Jakhar.
Whatever the reasons for the split, VFI president Avdesh expelled Goa Volleyball Association president Irvin Soares around a year ago. All in GVA were quiet for a while until GVA secretary Santosh Bandodkar decided to act on the action on Irvin and installed Shamsundar Tari as president.
Irvin was quiet until then. After the news of Shamsundar’s appointment appeared in The Navhind Times, Irvin called a press conference in which the following points were detailed:
- His suspension had been revoked.
- He was a member of the newly constituted VFI – which had the name of Avdesh as president.
- Santosh Bandodkar and Shamsundar Tari were being expelled by the GVA-obviously for acting against him.
- That he could be suspended from VFI but not GVA as VFI had any constitutional authority with GVA.
When I happened to ask Irvin at the press conference, how he was part of the committee that had the person who had suspended him as president, Irvin replied: “We allowed him to be the president as the election for the post of president is taking place in July and with all the executive committee members of VFI being against Avdesh, he had no chance of winning another term. We allowed him to continue as president to stop him from going to court.” In short, Irvin led me to believe it was a short term arrangement.
Perhaps, like many other journalists – there are allegations that journalists are taken abroad to play beach volleyball and therefore toe Irvin’s line — Irvin thought he could fool all journalists all the time.
Investigations have revealed that Irvin was bluffing and that came to light through an email sourced by me from the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). It is an email sent to both, Avdesh and Jakhar. I had published the email earlier but am going through the exercise again. “It is the FIVB’s understanding that the elections results released on 27 April, 2017 merely dealt with provisional elections conducted by Volleyball Federaion of India led by Singh Jakhar designed to fill positions until the conclusion of the office bearers terms in 2017.”
The office bearers positions o be filled were the positions of the same people suspended by Avdesh Kumar from VFI and purportedly, Irvin Soares was one of them.
There are certain aspects of what Irvin said at his press conference that needs to be highlighted:
- If VFI has no authority over GVA, how is the GVA a part of VFI? In simple words — if the father has no role over his son, how can the son claim inheritance?
- How can Irvin say his suspension is revoked when Avdesh is on record – he said this to me last Monday – that Irvin is out of VFI.
Soon after Avdesh’s comments appeared in our paper, Irvin has been sending emails through a man called Shinde who now claims he is the secretary of GVA. Shinde has not only been sending emails that Irvin has been appointed to oversee the volleyball elections in Kerala but also emails from Jakhar that a so-called GVA headed by Irvin and having Shinde as secretary is recognised by VFI.
Shinde appears to be an ignoramus to do not understand the politics of sports. In the little that I spoke with him, he appeared to be another Santosh Bandodkar in the making. I say Santosh because, whatever the reasons and excuses, Santosh allowed himself to be used by Irvin when it suited him and both — he and Irvin — literally have finished volleyball in Goa.
There are now attempts to get recognition from the Goa Olympic Association (GOA) and Sports Authority of Goa (SAG). Both may get and whether they get or not does not really matter because both institutions have been denigrated by people running them. Today, the GOA gives recognition on the fancies of Gurudutt Bhakta and SAG runs on the fancies of Prabhudessai. However, their run cannot also go on forever. Prabhudessai has at least got the taste of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar once. And, like many people, there is a possibility that the two could change for better.
After having attended press conferences hosted by both side, there appears a glint of hope for volleyball in Goa because rumours have begun to surface that new faces are ready to take over the game.
For a start, Irvin must start realising that volleyball will be best without him or Santosh and stop spreading canards about his authority. However much the truth hurts, it can never be hidden.