FMSCI bullish on NSF status soon but it won`t help Indian GP

New Delhi: The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) is close to achieving the status of a National Sports Federation after years of wait, the officials claimed today, but even then the promoters of Formula One in the country should not hope for any financial support, the government clarified.

FMSCI has long been trying to get recognition as a NSF and its vice-president R K Dhawan says they recently got a verbal commitment from the ministry that upon bringing minor changes in their constitution the NSF status can be granted to them.

The motorsport body is willing to amend its Memorandum of Article and will soon call a General Body Meeting to ratify the changes, Dhawan said.

"The ministry wants that we comply with the age and tenure guidelines, which we are willing and it also wants that any government servant in the Federation should not get more than one term. Director (Sports) gave us a verbal commitment that we can get recognition as NSF after bringing changes," Dhawan told PTI.

FMSCI has never employed a government official in its ranks but ministry wants them to have such a provision by adding a clause to its constitution.

Sports Secretary Ajit Sharan said the matter has not reached him yet but with or without recognition to FMSCI, financial support cannot be extended to F1 promoters, the Jaypee Group.

Most venues on the current F1 calendar are backed by their respective governments and it includes the race licensing fee which runs in millions of dollars.

It is believed that Jaypee paid a hosting fee of USD 40 million to the Formula One Management (FOM) for the first three years before the event was dropped for 2014 amid concerns over India`s taxation policy and FOM claiming that Jaypee did not fulfill parts of the five-year contract.

Besides coughing up a hefty licensing fee, the promoters were required to contribute Rs.10 crore to the ministry`s National Sports Development Fund.

However, Sharan said they were not against F1 in India and indeed it was a sport.

"We do not recognise or de-recognise a sport, we recognise associations," Sharan said when reminded that former sports minister M S Gill said that F1 was not a sport but entertainment.

"We are not against hosting a F1 race. But financial support is not possible."

Sharan said they have a detailed criteria to support a sport discipline.

"To start with it has to be an Olympic sport, then we see how popular the game is, how many people
participate and many other things. The sport has to meet the criteria. And we have to priorities which sport needs more support first.

"We are in favour of all sports but financial support (to F1) is not possible."

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