Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There is no let up by Indian Sports Ministry

Toughening its stance on the tenure limitation of the sports bosses in the country, the Government on today proposed to send a senior official to the International Olympic Council (IOC) headquarters in Switzerland to sort out the matter.
A day after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) forwarded letters of support from IOC and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) that warned against any interference in tenure limitation of the administrators, the government said it would send a detailed response and offered to send an official to IOC headquarters in Lausanne to discuss the matter.
"Government is immediately sending to the highest authorities in IOC, a detailed response on the matter," said an official statement issued today.
"Government is also proposing to IOC that in order to have a thorough and conclusive discussion on the subject, Government would be deputing a senior official, to the IOC headquarters, at a mutually convenient date to sort out the matter across the table," it added.
Sports administrators are up in arms against the new regulation which says National Sports Federation (NSF) presidents cannot continue for more than 12 years, with or without break, while secretaries and treasurers can serve eight years at a stretch but would have to take a four-year break before seeking a reelection.
Determined to thwart the move, Indian Olympic Association and NSF bosses said they were governed by Olympic Charter and IOA secretary general Randhir Singh, also an IOC member, on Tuesday circulated letters of support from IOC and OCA which warned India of dire consequences in case of governmental interference. 
The Sports Ministry lashed out at Randhir Singh for his "conflict of interests".
"It has to be regrettably emphasised that Randhir Singh, who is an independent member from India on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has clearly a conflict of interest on the tenure issue, in view of his 23-year-long continuous tenure as Secretary General, Indian Olympic Association(IOA)," the statement said.

"Further, it is noted with regret, that the IOC member did not consult Government before approaching IOC. The IOC too did not seek any inputs from Government before its NOC Relations Director sent the letter to Randhir Singh, who, in turn, has sent it to Government in his dual capacity," it added.
The government maintained the regulation came after the Delhi High Court had criticised the Sports Ministry for its inaction in implementing the guideline introduced back in 1975.
"The Court categorically stated that the tenure regulations were valid, binding and enforceable and could not be blocked by executive instructions. The Court also ruled that these regulations were not in violation of the Olympic Charter," the statement said.
The government said there was a consensus in the parliament on the regulation and pointed out that it would apply from the next elections of the NSFs, including IOA, most of which are scheduled after 2011. Trust of India

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