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Sports ministry slams IOA president Narinder Batra’s ‘idiotic bureaucracy’ jibe

The union sports ministry slammed Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra for a recent comment in which he said that ‘idiotic bureaucrats’ were making life miserable for sports administrators

other sports Updated: Feb 17, 2018 12:18 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narinder Batra,Indian Olympic Association,sports ministry
Sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar has slammed Indian Olympic Association preisdent Narinder Batra for his comment targeting bureaucrats in sports administration.(HT file photo)

A day after Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra lashed out at sports ministry’s insistence on prior notification before hosting any international event, sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar said it was ‘logical and fair’ for the government to ask for it.

Bhatnagar strongly condemned Batra’s statement, “Sometimes we have idiotic bureaucrats coming in and they have made everyone’s life miserable. You need some intelligent people who understand sports rather than some joker coming in from Mars and giving ideas, while they themselves have zero idea about what is happening.”

Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra’s comment saying ‘idiotic bureaucrats’ had ‘made everyone’s life miserable’ has not gone down well with the union sports ministry. (Getty images)

The senior sport ministry official said in a statement: “I have known Shri Batra for a long time as a gentleman and an able sports administrator and therefore, I was all the more surprised at the language that has been used by him as published in the said article. It certainly does not behove a person of his standing and stature and who is currently holding the two very responsible positions of President, IOA and President, FIH, to speak in this manner.

“So far as the facts of the matter are concerned, the provision regarding prior permission of the Ministry required by National Sports Federations (NSFs) before bidding for any major sporting international event in the country and committing huge financial exposure of the Government is very much a part of the provisions of National Sports Development Code, 2011. This code was promulgated on 31st January, 2011, and was upheld by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi by judgement of 9th May, 2014. The Hon’ble High court had held in the said judgement that the provision of National Sports Development Code – 2011 are not arbitrary and the Central Government can insist upon adherence to these provisions, without the aid of legislation,” he added.

The NSFs are now required to notify the sports ministry well in advance before bidding for an event. The federations should also submit an approximate figure of financial assistance that may be required. If the NSFs fail to give prior information to the sports ministry, it may not extend its support regarding hosting the event.

“Besides, it is only logical and fair that the government should know its financial exposure for the event before the National Sports Federation bids for it and it should not come as a fait accompli after the event is allotted to India. Permissions as above are required to be taken from Governments for holding international sporting events in other countries as well,” Bhatnagar said.

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 11:27 IST