Squash pro body PSA blasts Ramachandran for failed Olympic bid

New Delhi :Launching a scathing attack on WSF President N Ramachandran, the Professional squash body PSA has described the Indian administrator as an “embarrassment to the sport”, besides blaming the world governing body for repeatedly failing to put up a successful Olympic bid.

PSA CEO Alex Gough, speaking to PTI, confirmed that a 17-point document prepared by PSA with some National Federations was produced at the WSF AGM in Nice last week, blaming the governing body for the failed Olympic bid.

After it lost out to wrestling for the 2020 Olympics two years ago, the Summer Games’ host Tokyo gave the sport another hope by shortlisting it among eight possible inclusions for 2020 before removing squash from the final five in September.

The PSA document, first accessed by Squash Mad, states that Ramachandran, who is also heading the Indian Olympic Association, continuing as WSF chief is an embarrassment to the sport.

“President Ramachandran’s grip on the WSF has tightened, seemingly to an unprecedented degree. This has occurred simultaneously with the escalation of his well-publicised troubles as the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and inherent conflicts of interest, motions for Ramachandran’s ouster as the leader of the IOA at a Special General Meeting, and a judgement against Ramachandran by the Indian courts stripping him of a 2011 award on the grounds that he did not meet any of the criteria necessary for the recognition.

“Even if viewed in the best light with no presumption of misconduct, his present circumstances must be viewed at a minimum 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,” the PSA claims in the document.

It also holds the WSF responsible for not doing enough to win the Olympic bid.

“During the last several decades, despite an increasingly successful professional tour and having made enormous strides in both broadcasting and presentation, squash has peaked in participation and public interest, and has been unsuccessful on several occasions in gaining entry as a sport into the Olympic Games.”

Ramachandran, in his and WSF’s defence, sent a note to all WSF member federations saying he did his best to make squash an Olympic sport.

“On a general level, while my leadership style and these other matters have been brought up at the AGM I will simply reaffirm that I and my Board have done and shall continue to do nothing but our best for Squash.

“However, I must emphasise that I recognise the criticisms and will do my best to respond to their intent and the wishes of members in the short time that remains for my Presidency,” said Ramachandran, whose current term ends next year.