Malappuram: Sending a clear signal to their rivals that this is going to be a battle to the finish, a group of former volleyball players in Kerala have intensified their protests seeking removal of Kerala State Volleyball Association general secretary Nalakath Basheer.
If the general secretary refused to yield to their demand, the veterans are planning to float a new association.
Since last week, several former state players have been demanding Basheer’s ouster after he made a controversial comment that Arjuna awardees virtually lick the boots of top officials to get honored.
It is learnt that the rebel group, led by former national players such as S.A. Madhu, R. Rajeev, N.C. Chacko and Raj Vinod, has the blessings of Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) president Chaudhary Avadhesh Kumar Chaudhary.
The VFI is currently split between factions pledging allegiance to president Avadhesh Kumar and general secretary Ramavtar Singh Jakhar, who have been deposed and dismissed by each other.
The state volleyball association with Charley Jacob as president and Nalakath Basheer as secretary owe allegiance to the faction led by Avadhesh Kumar.
Last week, the Ramavtar Singh faction had ‘removed’ both of them from their respective posts for attending a meeting organized by the ‘rebel’ group.
The Avadesh Kumar faction claims that it enjoys the support of 23 state associations while the other group is backed by only three state-level bodies.