The battle for supremacy between the sports ministry and national sports federations (NSFs) over age limit and tenure of sports administrators is adding to the confusion with each passing day.
On Monday, the general association of the NSFs said it strongly opposed the age and tenure clauses, which stipulate that all officials should retire on attaining the age of 70 or three terms of four years each. The association, however, added that it had no "quarrel" with the ministry over transparency and good governance, as envisaged in the National Sports Development Bill draft.
But sources in the ministry said that it was unlikely the government would go back on the clauses in the proposed Bill. "The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which also has age and tenure clauses in its charter.
“If the IOA can accept the IOC Charter, why can't it adhere to government guidelines?" the official questioned.
Sports minister, Ajay Maken, said in a statement on Monday that the Bill only seeks to end nepotism by introducing age and tenure norms.
"That federations are, in a way, repository of the faith and prestige of the people of India, and it was only logical that they conformed to transparent and universally accepted best practices of sports governance," said Maken.
BCCI vice-president, Arun Jaitley, who spoke at the NSFs meeting, said the bill would create confusion.
"There will be overlapping of jurisdiction as who will control the sports federations, the government or the international sports federations?
There will be two sources of power and the International Cricket Council is also strongly opposed to government interference in running the sport," said Jaitley.
IOA officiating president, VK Malhotra, said good governance could not be assured by restricting age limit.