AFI removes contentious clause, calls poll on Feb 24

New Delhi: Faced with the threat of de-recognition from the Sports Ministry, the Athletics Federation of India on Sunday removed a contentious clause from its constitution and called for re-election to three top posts next month.

The AFI took the decision to delete Clause XIV(b)(1) of its constitution, which required candidates for the posts of president and secretary to be an existing member of the Executive Committee, in a Special General Body Meeting here.

"The Special GBM voted to delete the clause altogether and now anybody can contest elections provided his name is proposed or seconded by the required number of members as required under the constitution," Adille Sumariwala, who was elected as president in the AFI elections held in March last year, told PTI.

"There will no longer be the requirement that the candidate should have been an existing Executive Committee member," he added.

AFI polls were held in March last year but the Sports Ministry refused to recognise the president and secretary who were elected under the contentious clause. The Ministry also rejected the election of the treasurer on the ground that the person did not get No Objection Certificate from his public sector employers.

The ministry had, on December 11, directed the AFI to amend its constitution and hold re-elections within two months or by February 28 at the latest for the post of president, secretary and treasurer or face de-recognition.

The decision to delete the contentious clause was, however, not unanimous as some members dissented as they felt the clause was required.