We were not at fault, says MAI boss | india | Hindustan Times
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We were not at fault, says MAI boss

Nazir Hoosein, the head of Motorsports Association of India, which was stripped of its power by the international body FIA this week, speaks to K. Kumaraswamy about his future course of action.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2008 23:07 IST
K. Kumaraswamy

The dice is loaded against Nazir Hoosein, the head of Motorsports Association of India (MAI), which was stripped of its power by the international body FIA this week. Its decision — making the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India (FMSCI) as its ASN (national sporting authority) in the country, has been welcomed by all. But Hoosein believes he has a case and has decided to appeal the decision. That he might be fined 150,000 euros if his case is found to be frivolous has not deterred him. On Saturday, Hoosein spoke to HT over the phone.

Excerpts:

On what grounds are you appealing?

We have informed the FIA of our intention to appeal. We have eight days to build our argument. But I am not going to jeopardise my case by revealing the details. I can only say that it is not a sporting dispute but a legal one. It involves the statutes, the rules and regulations of the FIA.

Why didn’t the merger happen?

We were not at fault. There were certain conditions placed for the merger to happen, and that is exactly what we will be arguing in the FIA's International Court of Appeal.

The MAI was the ASN for FIA for years but it did not have the Indian government’s recognition.

The government's guidelines are based on the premise that sports should be promoted from the village to city level and so on. Here, recognition is in itself not essential. Unlike in France, where the French Federation of Automobile Associations (FFAA) is recognised and the government does not allow the formation of another such organisation, it is not illegal here to form another association.

Still, don’t you think that went against you in the FIA?

The fact that you are allowed to form an association means you are a recognised body. Else, you wouldn't be allowed to do so. And once you have formed an association, the FIA is at liberty to choose any one. The government recognition is not a determining factor.

But you didn't make any attempt to get the MAI recognised by the government?

If you don't want the grants, why do you need to be recognised? The government guidelines themselves say you have to be recognised by the international body.