A summary of sports events and persons who made news on Tuesday
The All India Football Federation is likely to impose sanctions on all the aggrieved I-League clubs for skipping the Super Cup.
Well-placed AIFF sources said a 'strong case is being built up' against the seven I-League clubs -- Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers, Aizawl FC, Minerva FC, Gokulam FC and NEROCA FC -- for withdrawing from the Super Cup.
The AIFF has incurred financial losses due to the pullouts of the clubs, who had cited unfair treatment by the apex body.
"A strong case is being built up and it will be put at the League and Disciplinary Committee meeting on April 13. The federation will go by the regulations and guidelines," a reliable source said.
The clubs had pulled out barely three days before the start of the Super Cup qualifications.
As per rule 10.4 of the Super Cup regulations, the clubs could be facing heavy penalty.
According to the rule, the participating clubs that withdraw from the competition after its commencement shall: "be required to pay compensation for any and all damages or losses suffered by, where applicable, the other participating club/s, the AIFF, the AIFF commercial right partners, licensees, broadcasters and the concerned Member Association."
"be disqualified from taking part in next edition of the Competition from which it withdrew. The AIFF Executive Committee may extend the suspension depending on the gravity of the situation and/or impose further damages as deemed appropriate by it."
"be referred to the AIFF Disciplinary Committee for determination of the compensation amount and additional sanctions. Depending upon the gravity of the offence, the case may be referred to the AIFF Executive Committee for final decision."
In March, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das had informed the I-League clubs that the federation has accepted their demand of a meeting with president Praful Patel -- between April 13 and 15 -- to discuss their grievances but made it clear that the Super Cup qualifying round matches would not be rescheduled.
Das had said that the rescheduling of the qualifying round is against the tournament rules and would be unfair to those clubs which turned up.
Ultimate Kho-Kho League to get Rs 10 crore investment in first year
Consumer goods company Dabur India Limited's vice-chairman Amit Burman is investing a whopping Rs 10 crore in the first year of the newly-launched Ultimate Kho-Kho league, the country's first such initiative.
Ultimate Kho-Kho, a franchised based professional league, was launched on Tuesday by the Kho-Kho Federation of India (KKFI) in collaboration with Burman, who is associated in his personal capacity.
The 21-day IPL-style league will see eight franchise teams playing a total of 60 matches in a double round-robin format. The league will be held either in September or October this year.
"In the first year, I will be investing approximately Rs 10 crores. This is the franchise fee which I have to pay to the KKFI," Burman said at the sidelines of the launch event.
Elaborating more on the investment he is pumping in the league, Burman said the eight teams will be picked through a tender.
"I own the league and I will have to pay the franchise money to KKFI. The team owners will be making their payments to me. We will be floating a tender and the bidding will begin subsequently. All this will happen in a month's time, we have already begun the process," he said.
Kho-Kho is played in around 20 countries in the world, mostly in Asia. Kho-Kho match consists of four innings of nine minutes each and the league will be played on specially developed mats in state-of-the-art indoor stadiums.
Each team will have 12 players which will include two international and under-19 athletes each and one marquee player.
"In each team we are allowing two international players. There will be one marquee player who will be decided through an auction. Nine players will play the match and three player will be in the reserve," Burman said.
KKFI and Burman have together appointed Tenzing Niyogi (former sports advisory leader at Ernst and Young) as the CEO of the league while Indian Olympic Association Secretary General and former KKFI president Rajeev Mehta is the chairman of the league.
The organisers are still finalising the host cities for the event along with the other nitty-gritty.
"We are looking at two cities to host the matches. The cities we are looking at are those which have big following of the sport. Kho-Kho is popular in West India and South India. There is also big following of Kho Kho in east India -- in Jharkhand and Bengal," Niyogi said.
"We are also in talks with the broadcasters, Sony and Star but nothing has been finalised yet," he added.
SRFI not to hire full-time foreign coach for India players, opts for 'event-based' coaching
The national squash federation, which has not been able to find a foreign coach in almost a year, has decided against a full-time appointment and will hire names like former world number one David Palmer in a shift to 'event-based' coaching.
The Indian players have been training without a full-time foreign coach ever since Egyptian Achraf Karargui left on a bitter note ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.
However, the squad comprising veterans Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal still returned with two silver medals. On their own, even at the Asian Games in August-September, the Indian contingent bagged five medals including a women's team silver.
"Instead of hiring full-time coaches, we have decided to hire experts on short-term basis. For example, the players will get to train with David Palmer for a month ahead of the men's World Championship in Washington in December," national coach Cyrus Poncha said.
"We believe the event-based hiring of coaches will be more beneficial for our players. We have also approached renowned coach Amir Wagih for a camp ahead of the Asian Championships next month," said Poncha.
The appointments of both Palmer and Wagih will have to be approved by the Sports Authority of India.
Ghosal, who on Monday became the first Indian male to break into the top-10 of world rankings, is already working with US-based Palmer and Chinappa too has worked with the two-time world champion. Pallikal, on the other hand, has worked closely with US-based Wagih.
World No.15 Chinappa said she is looking forward to working with the likes of Palmer, who won a gold at the Commonwealth Games last year.
"Though I have my own coaching team in England, it will be great to work with a coach of Palmer's calibre during events. I have worked with him in the past and I am sure we all can learn something from him," she said.
While all the three players -- Ghosal, Chinappa and Pallikal -- have been least affected by the absence of a full-time coach as they have their own support staff, it is the junior crop which has suffered more due to the lack of a full-time professional help.
Ghosal has said in the past that a full-time coach will be more beneficial to the players who train in India rather someone like him who mostly trains outside the country when he is not competing on the PSA tour.
Sameer suffers heart-breaking loss to Shi Yuqi in Malaysia Open
India's Sameer Verma put up a daunting effort before going down in three games in a pulsating opening round clash against World no 2 Chinese Shi Yuqi in the $ 750,000 Malaysia Open.
The 24-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, who had lost to Shi Yuqi in the semifinals of the World Tour Finals in December last year, suffered a heart-breaking 20-22 23-21 12-21 loss in a 65-minute men's singles.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, however, made a good start to their campaign, eking out a 22-20, 24-22 win over Ireland's Sam Magee and Chloe Magee in mixed doubles.
Unfortunately, Sikki Reddy could not replicate the success in the women's doubles as she, along with her partner Ashwini Ponappa, went down fighting 20-22, 21-17, 20-22 to the Korean duo of Baek Ha Na and Kim Hye Rin.
The men's singles match was a close battle till 8-8 before Sameer fell back to 11-16. But he fought back to make it 20-20 before being edged out by Shi Yuqi in the opening game.
The second game was no different as the Indian was lagging 11-16 again but this time he not only clawed back at 20-20 but also managed to win it despite the Chinese grabbing one match point. Sameer reeled off three points to take the match to the decider.
In the third game, Shi Yuqi jumped to a 9-0 lead and didn't allow the Indian to fight back.