The visiting Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) officials today threw their weight behind the Indian sports administrators, saying they never faced similar tenure limitation bid by their governments back home.
CGF Coordination Committee (CoCom) chairman Austin Sealy said the Sports Ministry guideline was unfortunate in its timing as the Games here are just 150 days away.
"The timing of the Sports Ministry order was unfortunate. The Organising Committee could have done their work without these distractions," Sealy, also the CGF Treasurer, said while addressing a press conference after CoCom's four-day visit here.
"I have been CGF Treasurer since 1986 and before that I have been head of my country's Olympic Committee for 14 years (1982-96).
"CGF President Mike Fennell has been Jamaican Olympic Association President for more than 30 years. We did not have this kind of problem in our part of the world," Sealy said.
Asked whether the Sports Ministry guidelines could impact on the preparations of the Games. Sealy said, "I hope not, though it is not a CGF matter. We will have to continue keeping our hands on the plough and tackle the task at hand."
CGF chief executive Mike Hooper, who had a public spat with IOA chief Kalmadi last year, also chipped in saying that there should not be external pressure on national sports bodies.
Asked about International Olympic Committee's own rule of limiting its president to 12-year term, Hooper said, "There was no external pressure on IOC in doing that. It was internally done by it under its constitution."
Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief Perry Crosswhite said there no limitation in the tenure of sports administrators in his country as well.
"We don't have any such tenure restrictions in our country. We have no government interference. Tenure of sports administrators is our internal issue," he said.
Kalmadi said the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee would not be distracted by the Sports Ministry guidelines on limitation of tenure and said they would concentrate at the work at hand.
"I and other NSF chief met the prime minister today. We are not going to be distracted (by the Sports Ministry guidelines). We will ensure the best ever Games," Kalmadi said.
IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh echoed Kalmadi's view, saying that the OC would have to concentrate on the work at hand.