Player selection based on multiple factors, not as simple as score comparison: Delhi HC

The selection of athletes to represent the country is based on many factors and cannot be as simple as comparing individual performance scores and disputes arising from the selection exercise can disrupt and impact the preparation and performance of the players, said the Delhi High Court.

The court, while denying the motions of table tennis players Manush Shah and Swastika Ghosh against their exclusion from the Commonwealth Games national team, emphasized that a player must possess great physical strength as well as great strength mental and emotional and agility to represent a nation and participate and excel and so it is essential that there is no uncertainty in their minds.

The claimants requested the Table Tennis Federation of India to include their names in the list of four players selected for the table tennis squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The court said that in the present case, the authorities concerned have examined the whole question. and finalized the names to be sent to participate in the CWG after considering all aspects and he “cannot substitute his point of view for that arrived at by the Committee of Trustees and the Selection Committee” and be a “Super Selector “.

“To represent a nation and participate, perform and excel in the arena of international sports, a player must not only possess physical strength and agility, but also mental and emotional ones. It is therefore essential that there is no uncertainty in the minds of such disputes can disrupt and impact the preparation and performance of players. Thus, I consider that there is no substance to these petitions. Accordingly, the petitions as well as all pending applications are dismissed,” Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma said in the order issued last week.

“The tribunal must take into account that the Selection Committee/Panel of Experts must consider many factors when making the decision to select an athlete to represent the country. This exercise cannot be as simple as compare scores based on individual performance. Also in this case, the Trustee Panel weighed different factors and, therefore, this court finds itself unable to interfere in the exercise of its power of judicial review,” said the tribunal.

The court noted that the power of judicial review in sports matters can only be exercised in the event of an allegation of bad faith and in this case, there was a total absence of arbitrariness or bad faith in the decision rendered. by the Committee of Directors.

The court also reviewed an earlier order made in another case and noted that if judicial review powers were to be extended to such matters, it would hurt sports. “I wholeheartedly agree with the conclusion of this tribunal that the tribunal cannot appropriate a position like that of a super umpire or a super umpire or, in this case, the position of super selector,” the court said.

The applicants’ grievances before the court were that their names were not included in the final selection list by the selection committee and the board of trustees despite fulfilling the selection criteria. They alleged that the selection process was correct and that those included in the list or proposed to be sent to compete in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) were well below the ranking compared to them.

The CWG is due to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.

Martin E. Berry