AITA stares at derecognition by sports ministry
The All India Tennis Association (AITA), it seems, is heading towards getting derecognised by the government.
The AITA is firmed up on not holding fresh polls after the sports ministry said the one held in 2012 were in violation of the sports code. In case the AITA doesn't fall in line, it might be derecognised like the Archery Association of India was in 2012.
The government, in its recent communique to the AITA, had informed that its president Anil Khanna had violated the sports code by ignoring a cooling-off period of four years between being elected president and serving as secretary general.
"The ball is in AITA's court now," said an official in the ministry, adding that if the AITA doesn't adhere to the guidelines, the federation could be derecognised.
Khanna had recently argued that the guidelines were not applicable only to the posts of secretary general and treasurer and not the president. With Khanna insisting that the AITA follows the code, it looks highly unlikely that he would either step down or hold fresh elections.
Khanna has a lot of influence over the state units and his confidence stems from the fact that he has more loyalists than detractors.
Several states associations including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have had the same set of officials for decades and no one questions them.
So far, almost all the national sports federations have either supported the sports code or changed their constitution to accommodate its key officials. But Archery Association of India (AAI) president Vijay Kumar Malhotra had challenged the sports code by continuing to head the federation. He has been at the helm for the past four decades.