Aiyar to send Sports Policy draft to cabinet next month | other | Hindustan Times
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Aiyar to send Sports Policy draft to cabinet next month

other Updated: Dec 21, 2007 20:11 IST

PTI
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Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Friday said he would present the Sports Policy draft to the cabinet next month and made it clear that his ministry was not prepared to wait any longer for an "overtly critical" Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) consent on the matter.

"I plan to present the sports policy draft to the cabinet by the first week of January for consultation because I would be failing my cabinet if I delay it any longer," Aiyar told reporters here.

Aiyar said he was fed up of IOA's rigid stand on the matter despite the fact that the ministry had revised the draft after consultations with IOA president Suresh Kalmadi and other sports federations.

"We have incorporated certain changes on the basis of the objections raised by the IOA and various sports federations. We even went a step further and consulted some sportspersons as well during the Arjuna awards ceremony. The draft was revised and we are ready to move it to the cabinet now," he revealed.

"I can assure it is a comprehensive policy and we have studied international sports laws before finalising the draft," he added.

Directing his ire at Kalmadi, Aiyar said the IOA Chief has launched a personal attack at him.

"Mr Kalmadi now tells me that he has not been consulted but I will take that also and have invited him for discussions whenever he finds it convinient," he said.

"After that 'jokers in Shastri Bhawan' remark and all the other abusive remarks that he made about me and my officers, I would say that perhaps his mother needs to wash his mouth," Aiyar quipped.

The minister, who along with chess world champion Viswanathan Anand felicitated winners of a chess tourney, said the country would continue to do absymally bad internationally if youngsters were not encouraged to take up sports in school.

"Even our constitution equates sports to recreation, which I think is a very bad approach. We have talent but we have to go searching for it and that requires taking sports to the schools," he explained.

"The fact of the matter is that we won just 0.05 medals per 10 million persons this year and we will continue to do so if we don't change our attitude," he pointed out.

Aiyar emphasised that holding mega international events like the 2010 Commonwealth Games were in fact proving detrimental for the country's sports scene as money which can be used for upgrading sports was being diverted to preparing for the Games.

"CWG 2010 is an international commitment and we will honour it but if we focus only on holding mega events and forget about developing sports as a whole, then I think it will be disastrous," he cautioned.

Aiyar heaped praise on Anand and said every sport in the counrty needs an ambassador like him to develop.

"We have to emulate him to succeed. We have other world champions but they have not done what he has done, that is give back to the game by nurturing young talent," he said.