State loses National Games
THE TUSSLE between the top brass of Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association (UPOA) and the controversial UP Government’s Sports Act 2005 took their toll today when the Indian Olympic Association took away the 2009 National Games from the state.
Earlier, the Junior National Hockey Championship, which was to be held from August 5 at Saifai, was postponed by the UP Hockey Association over the same reasons.
IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi categorically declared in New Delhi today that Uttar Pradesh would not be awarded the 2009 National Games. He said so after the executive committee meeting of the IOA. A final decision on the venue will be taken at the IOA’s General Assembly later this year.
However, UPOA general secretary Anandeshwar Pandey said withdrawal of the Games from UP was conditional as an eight-member committee was set up by the IOA to look into the pros and cons of the Sports Act. The committee will also review the Sports Act, implemented in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh besides Uttar Pradesh.
The committee includes Union Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, IOA general secretary Randheer Singh, president Suresh Kamladi, Indian Hockey Federation chief KPS Gill, Volleyball Federation of India chief K Murugun, KP Singh Deo, Judo Federation of India chief and former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler and Handball Federation of India’s vice-president RK Anand.
Pandey also said UPOA chief Mohd Aslam Khan wasn’t in favour of the conditional withdrawal of the National Games from UP at the meeting, but it was he who persuaded the case so strongly that it divided the IOA over a final decision.
“There is nothing wrong in the government’s Sports Act and any final decision about UP’s hosting rights of the Games should be taken only after a thorough study of the Act,” said Pandey over phone from New Delhi.