IOA, NSFs reject National Sports Development Bill

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association and the National Sports Federations today unanimously rejected the National Sports Development Bill, the draft of which has been prepared by the Sports Ministry.

The representatives of the IOA and NSFs opposed the proposed legislation, saying that it was actually an effort by the government to take over the sports bodies in the country.

In a meeting here, the representatives of the IOA and NSFs presented their objections to the legislation before the Committee constituted by the Sports Ministry under the chairmanship of Justice Mukul Mudgal.

Former sprinter Ashwini Nachappa was also present and she made some recommendations about the representation of more sportspersons in the NSFs. Senior lawyer R K Anand represented the IOA.

Interim IOA President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that the government was trying to have a monopoly over sports bodies.

"The government should not try to control all sporting bodies. Through this bill, the government is trying to takeover the federations. There are a lot of drawbacks in this bill," he said.

"We want that there should be good governance. Fair elections must be conducted, corruption must be checked but if the government say that it is going to control everything and even nominate candidates, it is not right.

"And we have said that if this `age and tenure` thing is applicable in every other fields like politics, in NGOs then we would also oblige. Why only sports should have this rule? This sort of an arrangement will effect sports," said Malhotra.

The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) vice-president Arun Jaitley said this bill will encroach upon the rights of the federations and allow the government "not just regulate but have full control" over the sport bodies.

"This legislation is a suspect and will encroach upon the rights of the sport federations," said Jaitley.

Jaitley also said that when the BCCI was functioning well and its cricket team producing results then there was no point in government interference.

"We do have our internal disciplinary issues but we should be allowed to sort it out on our own without outside (government) interference," said Jaitley.


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