Perform or perish should be the rule for sports officials
It’s a good thing that the sports ministry has drafted the sports bill. When there are bills for pretty much everything under the sun then why not one for sports? Vijender Singh writes. Have your say: If a federation official doesn't perform, shouldn't he be replaced at once? | Vijender sayscricket Updated: Nov 27, 2011 02:48 IST
Having come through the ranks to become one of the most recognised sportspersons in the country, I can say from my experience that the revised Sports Bill drafted by the sports ministry is something that is badly needed. In the first place, I can't understand why there is so much fuss around its provisions. When there are bills for pretty much everything under the sun then why not one for sports?
Then, when a player doesn't perform, he loses his place in the national squad. In the same manner, what is wrong if sports administrators are dropped or replaced? In the new Sports Bill, the proposed tenure for the president of a federation is two terms of four years each. After a cooling period, he can hold office as the head of a national sports body for a maximum of 12 years. This is being contested by many sports bodies. If the head of a national federation is unable to bring about changes for the better in this period then there really isn't much that one can expect from such an office-bearer.
It is also important that there is regular evaluation of the working of all senior federation office-bearers. Only the people who are delivering tangible results, rather than those who are mediocre, should be considered for a further term. All other office-bearers should give up their posts within the time-frame stipulated by the ministry.
As of now, the majority of the national federations require government assistance when it comes to sending teams abroad, holding coaching camps or even organising national championships. So, the government has every right to not only draft such provisions to streamline administration but also demand that the sports federations cooperate with it in implementing the Sports Bill.
On the issue of ensuring better representation for athletes in running the show, a sportsperson is in the best position to understand the problems faced by fellow athletes. Therefore, I support the provision that will make sure sportspersons occupy 25 percent of posts in the executive board of various federations. This would ensure that no sportsperson suffers due to bias or any other injustice. Here, those athletes who were forced to give up their potentially rewarding careers due to injuries should also be encouraged to get actively involved in sports administration.
Why are the federations afraid of coming under the purview of the Right To Information Act? If they feel they are not doing anything wrong, they have no reason to oppose it as they have, unless they are afraid that any wrongdoing would be exposed in this manner.
Vijender Singh is an Olympic medallist
Read football administrator Shaji Prabhakaran's take on the Bill