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Treasurer’s decision to quit raises question of IKF legitimacy

The treasurer of the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) has quit the organisation, claiming that he had been kept in the dark on all financial matters since his election.

The shock decision by Ashok Kumar Das of the United Kingdom, comes just days after the IKF issued notice of their impending General Meeting to be held in Dubai on June 29.

Ashok is also the President & Founder England Kabaddi Association as well as the President of the European Kabaddi Federation and the Western Kabaddi.

In his resignation letter dated 14th June, 2018, he said that he was never a signatory to any of the financial transactions of the organisation.

He had also requested that his name as the Treasurer be removed from all IKF official documentation and publications, some of which he claimed may have been used without his knowledge.

He further went on to clarify that despite being the Treasurer, he was never involved in any financial matters or discussion thus making his role in the IKF a mere formality.

This also comes in the wake of the IKF having signed huge sponsorship contracts over the last few years.

There will be serious doubts on the legitimacy of the IKF meeting, especially if it were to adopt the Statement of Accounts that was not prepared by the elected Treasurer.

Making matters worse was that the duly elected Treasurer claims to have absolutely no knowledge of any transactions made by the IKF till date.

Questions are already being raised in India on the IKF and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India’s (AKFI) financial indiscretions.

The IKF is headed by Janarthan Singh Gehlot of India, who is also embroiled in numerous controversies in India. This includes the installation of his wife as the AKFI president after he was legally barred from holding the position.

There are numerous court cases against the former politician, who has been among others, accused of requesting bribes for team selections.

It is reliably learnt that the Ashok’s situation was similar to that of IKF secretary Yeong Hak Yoon of South Korea. Sources within the IKF have claimed that while Hak Yoon was elected the secretary, all secretarial work was absorbed by a certain Deoraj Chaturvedi.

It is also learnt that the Gehlot unceremoniously dumped the previous IKF CEO Jeya Shetty of India and replaced him with Chaturvedi without any due process in 2015.

Whether the IKF can be considered as a legitimate sports organisation is in itself being queried by many. The IKF was registered as a no-shareholding company under the Indian Company Act of 1956.

Jeya Shetty, who was a founding member of the company, is now said to be contemplating legal action against the IKF board of directors after being removed in contrary to its memorandum of articles.

The current directors of the organisation are all Indian citizens – Gehlot, his son Tejasvi, Chaturvedi and Tejasvi Kasani.

For all purpose, it is a private Indian company masquerading itself as an international sports organisation.

The current situation does not augur well for the IKF, which claims it has 31 international members. It is not clear whether these members do understand that they were just being used by a four individuals for personal benefits.

None of these members may have any legal right if they were victimised by the IKF because as a company it is the directors, who hold sway in the group and not any general body that meets once every four years.

Many of the members of the IKF had joined the newly formed World Kabaddi during its inaugural meeting in Bangalore in March. More than 50 countries from all the continents attended the World Kabaddi meeting in Bangalore.

It is almost certain that the general body meeting called by the IKF on June 28 would see a much smaller number of countries attending. Gehlot is expected to hang on to his IKF president’s post in the absence of numerous countries, as those attending are also expected to be only his supporters.

But the legitimacy of the IKF is certainly big poser that needs to be answered quickly.

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