Barely a month after he took charge, new sports minister Jitendra Singh has been saddled with one of the trickiest jobs; finding a way out of the mess in the Indian Olympic Association after it was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
What’s the reaction of the sports ministry?
It’s really unfortunate that National Olympic Committee (NOC) has been barred from participation in multi-discipline events held under the umbrella of the IOC. The sad part of the suspension is that it may not have any implication on the profile of the country’s sports administrators, but will certainly affect the mind-set of the budding sportspersons of the nation.
Who is to be blamed?
Certainly it’s the IOA. The situation could have been averted had the IOA incorporated certain changes in its constitution. The IOA had agreed to amend its constitution in 2010, but it never happened. There is also wrong interpretation that ministry wants to interfere in the functioning of the national federations or the IOA via the sports code which lays emphasis on age and tenure. We are only interested in the development of sports in the country and this can only be done if there is good governance. That is why we have been emphasising on that. It's simple, but people running the show have made it complex.
What does the ministry plan to do?
Prior to the elections today, the ministry had also made efforts to discuss the issue of the sports code with the IOC. In fact, the ministry had proposed a meeting with the IOC to clear the issue.
We are still open to ideas and would welcome any decision to share a common platform where the ministry, IOA and the IOC can sit together and sort out the issue at the earliest.