IOA, NSFs approach PM on Sports Bill

IOA, NSFs approach PM on Sports Bill

A 12-man delegation of the IOA and NSFs presented the Prime Minister with a Memorandum, outlining their viewpoint on why they have rejected the proposed Bill.
Led by acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the delegation told the PM that if the Draft Bill was introduced in its present form, it would lead to disaffiliation of the IOA by the International Olympic Committee on grounds of government interference.

After the 35-minute meeting, Malhotra later said the PM gave them a patient hearing and his attitude seemed ‘sympathetic’.

“He listened to us and said he will seek information from the Sports Ministry since he does not have much information on the matter,” Malhotra said.

“This bill is illegal, unconstitutional and draconian. Sports is a state subject and the government wants to take control of sports bodies. It will lead to chaos as the government will recognise or derecognise the sports bodies at will,” Malhotra, who is also president of the Archery Association of India, said.

NSF representatives asserted that they had no objection to the CAG auditing the accounts of sports bodies and if provisions are made for fair and transparent elections, fair selection of sports persons and fair procedure for resolving the dispute.

The delegation also gave the PM a letter written by IOC to IOA, threatening India’s suspension if the autonomy of the national apex sports body is infringed.

The IOC letter said the new legislation must not breach the basic principles of the Olympic Charter, referring to government interference in the matters of the sports bodies.

“We will not be able to participate in international competitions. IOC has raised objections to certain clauses of this Bill. Kuwait was also disaffiliated due to the same reason,” Malhotra said.

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