ABC plans Asia Cup
AFC rejects Bagan appeal
Akhmadov confident

Calcutta, May 25 
The Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) is planning a new biennial tournament, the Asia Cup. It will be in addition to the existing two-yearly ABC championships and will be so scheduled that the two events are held every alternate year. The nitty-gritties of the proposed Asia Cup will be discussed at ABC�s Central Board and general body meetings in Kuala Lumpur July 25-26, Basketball Federation of India (BFI) president B.K. Saha told The Telegraph after returning from Beirut where he attended the ABC executive committee meeting in Beirut last week. The new tournament apart, the executives discussed ABC�s 40th anniversary plans. �It has been decided to celebrate the 40th anniversary in Kuala Lumpur where the men�s Asian junior championship (July 18-27) will be held,� Saha said. �A special banquet will be held to honour leading personalities who have contributed towards the development of the sport in Asia.� The executive committee meeting in Beirut cleared the women�s Asian junior meet in New Delhi from December 15-23.

Md. Sp. in fine nick

Mohammedan Sporting won their matches in the under-12, under-17 and senior categories of the all-India Coca-Cola Cup meet in Bangalore today. According to information received here, the seniors beat a Hyderabad side by eight wickets. Mohammed Javed and Abbas Rizvi claimed three wickets each for the winners while Mainak Chakraborty top scored with 46. In the under-17 category, Ritesh Jaiswal�s unbeaten 133 and Nasrul Hassan�s 75 not out took them to a 128-run win over Maharaja SC, Delhi. The under-12 boys won by 175 runs against TSR Ramaswami, Chennai. Arindam Dutta (134 not out) and Asfaq Khan (five for 16) did the star turn for Mohammedan Sporting.

Lawn bowls

Sharad Builders overcame Jubilant 21-12 in the Main Plate of the 21st Merchant Cup lawn bowls meet yesterday.    

Kuala Lumpur, May 25 
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has rejected an appeal by Mohun Bagan against a $3,000 fine for not hosting their second-round Asian Club Championship tie versus Japan�s Jubilo Iwata last October, a statement said today.

Mohun Bagan also appealed in vain against the decision to suspend them from the meet, should they qualify in future.

However, a similar penalty against Hong Kong�s Happy Valley for same offence was quashed. The AFC decided the Hong Kong Football Association, and not the club, was to blame and gave the association a �stern warning.�

AIFF inquiry demanded

A Staff Reporter in Calcutta adds: Mohun Bagan today demanded an AIFF inquiry to ascertain why their home tie against Jubilo Iwata failed to materialise.

Blaming the state government for their ordeal, club secretary Anjan Mitra said: �Had they (state government) cooperated with us, we would have been able to hold the match. The AIFF should constitute an inquiry to find out why the match failed to take off.�

Mohun Bagan had to postpone the October 16 match in the city following police�s refusal to give the green signal. Police authorities had said since October 16 was the first day of Puja festival, it wouldn�t be possible for them to provide enough personnel.

Two days later, AFC awarded full points to Jubilo.    

Calcutta, May 25 
Islam Akhmadov, chief coach of the national under-16 football squad, is confident of India making it to the final round of the Asian championship.

India will battle it out against Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the qualifiers in Jamshedpur from June 20. The champion will participate in the final round in Vietnam in September.

The training camp at the SAI campus, Salt Lake ended yesterday and the players and the coach will rejoin on June 2 before proceeding to Jamshedpur on June 7.

The Uzbek coach is quite satisfied with the showing of the 25 probables after having been with them for nearly two months.

�Though they need to work on their individual skills, the boys are physically strong and well-equipped,� he said. �They are sincere and have improved very fast,� he added.

Ranjit Gupta, IFA joint secretary who is in charge of the junior programmes of the All India Football Federation, is overlooking arrangements at the camp. He said that the 20-member squad will be announced shortly after the camp resumes next month.

�We�re still looking for a goalkeeper and an attacking midfielder. Once that is finalised, the squad will be declared,� said Gupta.

The probables have played nine practice matches so far, winning two, drawing six and losing one. �There are no stars in my team. I want them to perform as a team,� Akhmadov said.

�The Jamshedpur hurdle is important. If we can overcome that, I�m sure the boys will perform well in Vietnam because then I will get enough time to work on their shortcomings,� he remarked.

He felt that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be strong opponents in the qualifying round. �We need to win all our matches. Even a draw might land us in trouble.�

Akhmadov, however, seemed very upset with the facilities offered at the SAI campus.

He complained that the food and drinking water supplied were not satisfactory and the probables were constantly shifted from one room to another.    


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