THE CONTROVERSIAL Sports Act-2005 has put the State Government on the back foot, as cancellation looms large over five major events, including the country’s biggest prize money race, the Indira Marathon.
The UP Amateur Athletics Association has so far not given its permission to the UP Sports Directorate to hold the Indira Marathon on November 19 in Allahabad, as per directives of the Athletics Federation of India.
UPAAA secretary PK Srivastava told Hindustan Times on Monday that he would not give the go-ahead for the Indira Marathon, if the Sports Directorate hindered conduct of the Junior National Athletics Championship in Allahabad from October 11.
“I have been asked by the AAFI not to give permission for the Indira Marathon, unless the State Government allows us to conduct the championship peacefully.”
“The future of two State Championships under the auspices of the Sports Directorate will also be affected, if it creates any problems for us in the national championship, which also aim to pick the Indian team for the Asian Track and Field Championship,” said Srivastava.
“If the federation doesn’t give permission, no recognised athlete will participate in the Indira Marathon,” he added.
Four other events of the State Government – the All-India Men’s KD Singh ‘Babu’ Prize Money Hockey Tournament, the All-India Women’s Prize Money Hockey Tournament and the All-India Men and Women Volleyball Championships — are facing similar threats of cancellation, because of the Sports Act..
All the national federations have reportedly instructed their State bodies not to sanction Sports Directorate events after the directorate restricted the use of government-owned sports infrastructure in the State by all the sports bodies (not registered under the Sports Act).
Sources said delay by Sports Directorate authorities in sanctioning affiliation money to respective associations/federations added fuel to the fire. Sports director VK Kharbanda said he had already forwarded details of affiliation money to the State Government for approval.
UP Women’s Hockey Association secretary Bula Ganguly confirmed that the Sports Directorate had sought permission for conduct of the All-India Women’s Prize Money Hockey Tournament in Varanasi in November. “I haven’t talked to IWHF bosses regarding this.”
She said since her association had joined hands with the Sardar Mohd Aslam Khan-backed Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association, as per the instructions of the IWHF secretary Amrit Bose, who also happens to be the IOA joint secretary, there would be no difficulty in getting approval for the prestigious event.