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IOA can't handle huge amounts: Sports minister

india Updated: Oct 21, 2011 00:55 IST
HT Correspondent

Sports minister, Ajay Maken, is in no mood to relent on the issue of good governance. On Thursday, he again spoke in support of the revised sports policy draft adding that had the Bill been in place, the Commonwealth Games scandal wouldn't have happened.

Speaking at the Global Sports Summit 'Turf 2011' organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Maken said he would not dilute the age and tenure clauses in the draft, and promised to take it to its "logical conclusion (in Parliament)".

Holding the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) responsible for the CWG mess, the minister said, "I don't have confidence in the IOA that they can handle such huge amounts (in future).

Lack of able people
"India is capable of hosting the Olympics and Asiad and money is not a problem, but I don't have the confidence that we have good people," said the minister when asked if India was planning to host the mega events.

"My immediate concern is the 2012 South Asian Federation Games, which India will have to host by rotation. My worry is, what happens if (IOA president Suresh) Kalmadi comes out of jail and is again heading the body? Transparency (in financial affairs) is a must," he said.

Pointing out that the revised draft would free the national sports federations (NSFs) of government interference, he said the government would do away with the clause of NSFs requiring NoCs for getting financial assistance at the end of every year. "However, they would have to be transparent and accountable."

Fundamental issues
Highlighting that age and tenure of NSF officials were the fundamental issues of his draft, Maken said, "Government servants retire at 60 and the retirement age in the judiciary is 65. The age limit for retirement for sports officials should be less, but we are relaxing it. If an (IOA) president stays at the helm for 12 years, there is bound to be vested interests," he said.

"The Sports Bill is just one of the many things on the agenda, but, unfortunately, all the other schemes have got sidelined because of this issue. Primary among them being, the segregation of NIS, Patiala into a coaching institute and a national institute of sports sciences.

"NIS Patiala produced only 173 qualified coaches between 1980-2008, whereas the Sports Science Institute in Delhi wound up in 2005, when we had just started preparing for the CWG. The need of the hour is 1.3m specialists, coaches, scientists."