Former athletes voice support in favour of Sports Bill

New Delhi: Eminent Sports personalities came out in support of the revised National Sports Development Bill and criticised the opposing Indian Olympic Association (IOA), saying they are actually "ill-informed" and "shooting in the air".

The panel including eight former sports icon and Pankaj Advani, said the IOA should read the bill properly first and point out any specific clauses which they think is intrusive and encouraged a healthy debate on the issue.

"I think the IOA is ill-informed, they are not against it. It is a hard mentality. The athletes are the most important part of any sport and this bill will create a system which will get us more medals. It is a step in the right direction," former India tennis player Manisha Malhotra said.

The sportspersons also welcomed the provisions of providing 25 per cent reservation to athletes in the executive bodies of different federations.

Former India football skipper Baichung Bhutia said the bill at no point interferes with the working of the federations.

"IOA is shooting in the air. It is a misconception that the bill interferes with the federations. We are supporting the 25 per cent representation for players as for the first time it brings sportspersons in the picture. This bill is a great initiative," Bhutia said.

Former sprint queen Ashwini Nachappa said neither IOA or any opposing federation have so far come out with any sort of explanation and are giving just blind statements.


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