After missing the deadline to nominate the chef de mission of the Indian contingent for the London Games, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is faced with an awkward situation.
Despite failing to meet the March 23 deadline for sending the name to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), IOA acting president, VK Malhotra, is in no hurry to sort out the issue. "Hopefully, by next week we should be able to nominate the right person," Malhotra told HT on Wednesday.
In January, HT had first reported on the infighting in the IOA over the selection of the chef de mission. Even then, Malhotra had said that it would take time. Three months have lapsed and the matter has made little headway.
Ideally, the process should have been completed a year before the Games, which start in July.The IOA has already nominated PK Muralidharan Raja (secretary of the Indian Boxing Federation) as the deputy chef de mission.
Two candidates — Birendra Prasad Baishya, president of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and IOA vice-president Tarlochan Singh are the frontrunners for the job. The IOA had even set up a panel for this purpose and four of the seven members had proposed Baishya’s name. But the recommendation had been overruled by Malhotra.
"Some names were recommended, but consensus eluded us," said Malhotra.
Recently, the IOA had sent SM Bali, a joint secretary with the apex body, for an important meeting of the LOCOG, which showed the country in poor light.
With the IOA dithering over the appointment, the Indian contingent could face protocol issues in the buildup to the Games.