MSSA’s chilling silence; Association misses registration deadline for U-16 sub-junior hockey nationals and doesn't even announce the squad

Joe WilliamsUpdated: Saturday, September 18, 2021, 11:56 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) has conveniently missed yesterday's deadline to submit registration for the U-16 sub-junior hockey nationals. What's more, the association is yet to announce the squad for the event.

Both players and parents, who've been making frequent vists at the Bombay Hockey Association ground, Churchgate, hoping for an announcement, are now becoming increasingly restless.

One parent confided to this paper that they were not even aware of the deadline. “There must be some stumbling block,” the parent said, refusing to be named.

Coaches, too, have had to fend off queries. “Parents have been frantically calling me, but I've no answers,” said one of the coaches.

As expected, MSSA officials are passing the buck. Not only is the MSSA president Fr Jude Rodrigues silent on the matter, he hasn't been responding to calls either.

The association's football secretary Sebastian Fernandes has said, “Why don't you ask the hockey secretary (Lawrence Bing)?”

Interestingly, both Rodrigues and Fernandes were present during the selection trials at the BHA Ground in the first week of September. Fernandes, however, insists that he has had no role in selection matters.

With Covid-19 vaccines being administered with a great deal of urgency across the country, sports activities at different venues are clawing back into normal. Events such as national athletics in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, and national senior boxing in Bellary (Karnataka) have already resumed.

Thus it's ironic that MSSA, one of the oldest school associations in Asia, has still not got its act together. The least MSSA could have done is learn from the way national federations are conducting events, by selections of the Mumbai team for the Sub-Junior Nationals to be held in Bhopal from October 4.

The U-16 nationals is MSSA's first venture after the pandemic, but the association seems least enthused by it.

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