Kochi: An emergency working committee meeting of the Kerala State Volleyball Association (KSVA) has decided to serve a show-cause notice on veteran player Tom Joseph after holding him guilty of indiscipline for publicly criticizing the sports body.
If the player’s explanation to the show-cause notice is found ‘unsatisfactory’, further disciplinary actions including suspension will be initiated against him, said KSVA president Charley Jacob and general secretary Nalakath Basheer in a joint statement.
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Terming the charges leveled by Tom against the association on social media ‘baseless and unsubstantiated’, the KSVA office-bearers sought stringent action against him for misconduct and indiscipline.
"His allegations that the state association did nothing to push his name for the Arjuna Award are far from truth. The KSVA had nominated him in 2012 and 2013. Despite this being the case, he conveniently ignored the efforts made by the association and claimed that it was the late Arjuna Awardee K. Udayakumar who recommended him for the honor. Udayakumar too might have proposed Tom’s name, but it is not fair to blame the association. When he missed out on Arjuna in 2013, he was accorded rousing receptions across the state by clubs and fans. The KSVA also presented him a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh to keep his morale high. But when he finally received the Arjuna Award in 2014, he did not donate a penny for the development of the sport in Kerala,” said the KSVA statement.
The association also made a dig at the senior player, saying that more than his performance it was his impressive ‘crying skills’ which might have mattered while choosing him for the top honor.
“All the other Arjuna Awardees from Kerala were selected purely on merit. But the same can’t be said of Tom. More than his displays on the court, it was his constant bewailing that brought him the award,” the statement said.
“Of course, we do recognize his immense contributions to the sport, but this kind of indiscipline cannot be tolerated. There were several complaints of misconduct against him in the past. Once he left the national camp without permission to play local tournaments in Qatar and Kuwait. On another occasion, he sent a garland of chappals via courier to coach G. E. Sridharan as a mark of protest. Senior players like Kishore Kumar are getting selected to the national side based on their performance for their respective state and club. If he proves his fitness, Tom will also be considered. Otherwise, he should retire gracefully and make way for youngsters. Criticizing the association for not getting selected is totally inappropriate.
“When Kerala hosted the National Games in 2015, many former players had strongly opposed the move to include Tom in the team. However, the association thought it would be only fair to give him an opportunity to play in front of the home crowd. Because of his inclusion, the team management were forced to leave in-form players like Jerome Vinith and Manu Joseph on the bench. Many cited this as the main reason for the team’s failure to win the gold medal. Tom had been publicly attacking the association since 2014, but we have so far refrained from taking any action against him. Even now, we are ready to overlook his misconduct and indiscipline if he is ready to acknowledge and rectify the mistakes,” it said.
The officials added that no disciplinary actions will be taken against the five state players who took part in the junior national championship held in Bengaluru, recently, without the permission of the association. “The players explained that they participated in the tournament for getting grace marks, after being misguided by some vested interests. Since the remaining players have not provided explanation to the show-cause notice serviced on them, the association will go ahead with disciplinary measures against them,” the statement said.
The officials hoped that the ongoing internal fight in the Volleyball Federation of India will come to an end with the forthcoming verdict of the Chennai High Court.