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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Exclusive: PSA lead attack on World Federation

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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Under attack: WSF president Nayarama Ramachandran is flanked by Nicol David and Ramy Ashour
Under attack: WSF president Narayana Ramachandran flanked by Nicol David and Ramy Ashour

PSA and federations demand action over “embarrassing” president Ramachandran and set up Global Task Force

EXCLUSIVE: By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor

The PSA and a number of leading national federations have made an astonishing attack on World Squash Federation president Narayana Ramachandran during a stormy WSF annual meeting in Nice, France.

The PSA plan to lead a Global Task Force in partnership with squash federations from every continent to overhaul the global management of the sport. The Task Force would like a greater say in any future Olympic bids.

A 17-point document, seen by Squash Mad, criticises the WSF for the latest Olympic disaster and lays the blame right at the door of Ramachandran, who has been accused of corruption in India and has been stripped of a government award following complaints from the Indian squash community.

That case went all the way to the High Court in Delhi, where Ramachandran’s behaviour was described as “an insult to the sport”.

The dossier circulated in Nice says that: “Even if viewed in the best light, with no presumption of misconduct, his present circumstances must be viewed as a serious distraction from his role of representing the sport of squash, and certainly as an embarrassment to the sport during this important time.”

Delegates to the meeting were astonished to find that the WSF had circulated a Strategic Plan document, with the introduction stating that: “This interim strategic plan is predicated on squash being included in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo …”

This was apparently distributed two to three weeks AFTER the negative decision regarding squash’s hopes for a place in the 2020 Olympics.

In contrast, the PSA presented a 24-page, full-color brochure that was printed not only after the Tokyo decision but after the PSA Board meeting in Doha in the past few days.

PSA members are furious that their hopes of appearing in the Olympic Games have once again been shattered. Three-times world champion Nick Matthew recently led calls for change in how any future bids will be managed, and demanding more involvement from the PSA.

In this latest development, instead of complaining about the IOC, the players’ World Tour body has accused the WSF of weak management in allowing Ramachandran to build a one-man empire.

The document blames Ramachandran for sacking the highly-acclaimed bidding agency, Vero, whose specialist professional services were snapped up by surfing.

Surfing was one of five sports voted for by the Tokyo Extra Events committee for inclusion in the 2020 Games, alongside baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, and sport climbing.

Reports from the AGM reveal that, despite the furore surrounding allegations of corruption, and his failed management of the latest Olympic bid, Ramachandran had attempted to extend his own term as president. This attempt to extend his term was rejected by the delegates.

One insider claimed that when the WSF delegates were engaged in a Question and Answer session with a guest speaker whose CV included being a consultant to the 2020 Tokyo committee, Ramachandran cut off questions by announcing that the gentleman had an urgent meeting in Paris and thanked him for coming.

This was almost immediately after one delegate had risen to suggest that squash federations might stop congratulating ourselves on what a great sport we have, and how suitable it is for the Olympics, and ask the speaker to talk about squash’s weaknesses and failures, as those are far better learning tools than our successes, such as they may be.

When faced with questions about the stories emerging from India, Ramachandran suggested that this is all part of a vendetta from a few jealous rivals who don’t like him.

He also warned that anyone who “gossips” about these things may face libel or slander charges. This despite information coming from public sources and published reports of court proceedings.

The PSA document blasts the WSF Strategic Plan, saying: “The current draft reveals no progress in building the institution in any way, including finances, infrastructure, governance, mechanisms of collaboration and best practices or technology. Further, it demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the true mission or purpose for the organisation.

“In response to all of the above, the only other world body, the PSA, in partnership with federations from every continent, plan to create a Global Task Force.

“Its role will be to further analyse the current situation, to assess appropriate roles within squash that are globally required to build a solid foundation for growth in the sport, and propose changes to WSF leadership, governance and strategy.”

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Alarmbells should have rung when Hugo Hannes was elected vice president of the WSF. There never was and never will be an organization free of corruption with Hugo in it, as we in Belgium always say.

  2. When Squash has a President steeped in controversy, embroiled in litigation and carrying more than a whiff of ‘unusual practices’, is it any wonder the sport was given a size nine boot up its rear end by the International Olympic Committee?
    Well done Squash Mad for actually reporting the outrage and controversy.
    I will be watching with interest how the sport’s establishment media approach the same subject. Is that the sound of Closing Ranks I hear?

  3. I exposed N Ramachandrans malpractices to IOA , WSF, IOC and a plethora of evidence of draw & match fixing , embezzlement of CWG 2010 funds , double billing the Govt of India with the connivance of the WSF & ASF ,usurping players dues, victimizing minor players etc, which have been given to WSF but they ignored all our complaints as many of the WSF officials are his lackeys . I also gave the maximum evidence in the case against the WSF president which ran into over 1600 pages . In any western country he would have been behind bars and banned from all sports activities but unfortunately the Indian justice system is very slow.The perjury and other criminal offences against Mr Ramachandran are still pending in court. Incidentally the WSF President has also been embroiled in over 55 sports related cases since 1990 (Triathlon) which is in itself a World Record for any Sports Administrator ! I have a enough evidence to nail the crooks who have destroyed squash and responsible for the Olympic disaster and can e mail it to PSA etc to clean up the wonderful game of squash .

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