No escaping this, IOA to fall in line soon

The sports administration scenario in the country is set to change in the next two months.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been left with no choice but to accept the sports ministry's guidelines on age and tenures of sports administrators over the next couple of months as more than 24 National Sports Federations (NSFs) have written to the sports ministry that they are willing to accept government regulations.

The ministry has forwarded the letters of the 24 NSFs managing Olympic disciplines and many more non-Olympic disciplines NSFs to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has in turn directed the IOA to make the necessary amendments in its constitution for good governance, transparency in elections and finances.

A high ranking ministry official told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter and since the matter is in court, that apart from the 24 NSF, there are many more non-Olympic disciplines NSFs that have "written to us that they want to come on board".

"I am happy the IOC is now in sync with us on the issue," he added.

The government has limited the term of the presidents of the NSF and the IOA to three terms of four years each, while that of other officials to two terms of four years each. It has also restricted the age limit of federation officials to 70 years.

"The IOA will have to enact the government guidelines by March-April," said the ministry official. It's because of this the IOA's annual general meeting on February 12 in Ranchi --- the day when the National Games kick off --- is expected to be a serious affair and sources said "anything could happen", refusing to elaborate.

The IOA associate vice-president Aslam Khan, in an email to Hindustan Times wrote that in keeping with the Olympic Charter, the 160-member IOA body will have to be pruned down to 40. "A 160-member body is too unwieldy. There should be 28 members from NSFs summer Olympic Games, seven from Winter Games, one from para-Olympic, one from athletes commission and one IOC member if from that country, and two others. And everyone will have a single vote."

The ministry official also said that the government would henceforth recognise only those sports disciplines, which are of significance. "It's up to the IOA to recognise any number of federations they want but we will only give recognition to those which are Olympic disciplines and some others," he said.

Besides, Alsam said, the state Olympic associations will have no role to play "in the Olympic Games and as such will not having voting right."


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