New Delhi: Infighting has broken out in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) with its Secretary General Rajeev Mehta questioning his president N Ramachandran over the recognition of a new boxing association without consulting the executive.
In a letter to Ramachandran, the IOA Secretary General asked why he had agreed to Amateur International Boxing Association`s (AIBA) decision to provisionally recognise `Boxing India` as the National Sports Federation.
The AIBA (World Boxing Federation) had recently handed provisional recognition to `Boxing India` -- the brainchild of two private business houses -- after the world body derecognised Indian Boxing Federation on the ground of possible manipulation of its 2012 elections.
The AIBA had stated in its communication to the IOA that Ramachandran had given approval to its move. Attempts to reach Ramachandran to get his reaction did not fructify. Calls to his mobile phone were unanswered.
In the strongly-worded, Mehta said that the IOA president has no power under rules to give the approval. He also said that the IOA should shut shop if it was to give power of recognition of an NSF to an international federation (AIBA in this case).
"... During our teleconversation on this subject and various emails from AIBA and press statements confirming that you have given your approval to AIBA during your meeting with them in Lausanne. You on my questioning flatly denied having given any such approval for Boxing India in Lausanne," Mehta said in the letter dated June 4.
"There is no power with president/secretary general/ treasurer to recognise any federation. The power lies with General Assembly (of the IOA). This may be noted strictly and we should not be seen in violation of our own statutes," he said in the letter with copies marked to all IOA Executive Committee members.
"By giving authority to international federations to directly recognise NSFs in India -- then IOA should shut down its office. This is the responsibility of NOC (National Olympic Committee) and not of the international federation."
Just after the AIBA granted provisional recognition to `Boxing India`, Mehta had told PTI that the world boxing body had not consulted the IOA and the move was not in consonance with International Olympic Committee rules.
Mehta also contended that the AIBA violated its own statutes while granting recognition to `Boxing India`. "As per the statutes of AIBA in rule 10.1(B), AIBA cannot recommend any National Sports Federation for recognition until that NSF has an approval of NOC/GOI/Sports Council of that country. Here AIBA is in violation of its own statutes and we should raise questions with AIBA.
"To use the name INDIA, it is mandatory to have NOC (No Objection Certificate) from Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Ministry of Commerce. Hence, without NOC we cannot allow the use of name INDIA and should respect our law Law of Land."
In an earlier letter written on May 21, Mehta had also asked Ramachandran to sort out the matter with the AIBA. "The AIBA has stated in their e-mail dated 19 May, 2014 that the President of Indian Olympic Association has fully agreed with the AIBA President that IOA would accept the organisation selected by the AIBA without any condition.
"You have confirmed that you have not given any commitment to AIBA. I request you to kindly speak to AIBA and apprise about the stand of IOA to sort out the matter at the earliest," Mehta said.
The IOA is also yet to form a common view on the issue of India`s possible bid for the 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam capital Hanoi withdrew its hosting rights in April.
Mehta had said that the IOA would want to bid for the Games while Ramachandran was non-committal. Reports have quoted Sonowal as having said that the government would support such a bid but would wait for a presentation from the IOA.