Sports minister Ajay Maken on Saturday reminded BCCI to get itself registered as a National Sports Federation (NSF) with the ministry since there would be no special status to any sports federation once the Sports Bill is passed in the Parliament.
Maken, who had invited cricket board for this in February this year a month after assuming office, said, “How can we spare cricket? For government, all the NSFs are equal. I am quite sure that the Bill will be passed as we have support from everyone, except a few, who seem to have vested interests,” Maken told HT during his short visit to the SAI regional centre here on Friday. “Many NSF bosses don't want to lose 'power', which they have been enjoying for the last several years,” he added.
Criticising the International Olympic Council (IOC)'s frequent intervention in India's sports policy, the minister said that the provisions in the Sports Bill have been made as per the guidelines of the IOC. “Why doesn't the IOC apply its policies to nations like the USA? Why do they target India again and again?
“There is no dearth of financial support to sports or sportspersons in India. What we need is professionalism in the working of NSFs, and sports development of this country isn't possible without having the Sports Bill.”