After the bid-rigging controversy in the Indian Premier League, the decade-old cricket match-fixing row has now returned to haunt Indian badminton.
At least 22 of the 28 state badminton associations have registered their protest against the decision of tainted former cricketer, and now Congress MP, Mohammad Azharuddin, to run for the top post in the Badminton Association of India.
In identical letters written to BAI, a majority of state associations have sought to revoke Azharuddin's proposed candidature on the ground that he is serving a life ban imposed on him by the BCCI for alleged involvement in match-fixing.
The Moradabad MP had last week announced his desire to contest for the office of the BAI chief. His nomination is likely to come up at the sport federation's annual general meeting on June 13 and, if necessary, elections will be held the same day.
The move is seen as an attempt to preempt the former Indian cricket captain from participating in the election process by getting his candidature revoked at BAI's AGM on "moral and ethical" grounds.
BAI's current president, technocrat V K Verma, himself faces opposition from the sports ministry as his tenure has exceeded 12 years. In a significant move, BAI on Monday wrote to the ministry saying it no longer requires any financial assistance from the government and thus should be relieved of any obligation to follow government guidelines.