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Golfers face bogey as ministry derecognises federation

sports Updated: Apr 08, 2018 21:45 IST

New Delhi

The Asian Games a mere four months away, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has not renewed its recognition to the Indian Golf Union (IGU), the sport’s governing body in the country, with effect from April 1, 2018.

Among other things, the immediate effect on golfers will be the “various assistance from the Government of India” (read funds) and exposure trips before the Games. Though it is certain that a team will travel to Jakarta, if the IGU does not comply with the ministry’s long-standing demand to implement the National Sports Code, and conduct elections, the golfers could compete under a banner other than the IGU’s.

Following up on its letter dated February 23, 2017 on this matter, the ministry again wrote to the IGU on March 28, 2018. “It is noticed that the term of the present president of IGU (Wg Cdr Satish Aparajit (retd)) has expired in November 2017 and the IGU has not held its election so far…Recognition can be considered by the ministry after the elections are held and the constitution of IGU is complaint with the Sports Code,” the ministry letter stated.

The ministry had renewed recognition to several NSFs (national sports federations) for the year in January but in the case of IGU, the recognition was till March 31, 2018, “which would be reviewed depending on the action taken by it (IGU) to comply with various provisions of the National Sports Development Code of India 2011”.

Not only the ministry, the Indian Olympic Association too had urged the IGU (in a letter dated September 6, 2017) to fall in line.

While Wg Cdr Aparajit refused to comment, honorary treasurer, Ishwar Achanta, said the IGU was “taking every step possible to ensure that the team for the Asian Games competes under the Indian flag”.

“There is a perception that we are resisting change, but that’s not the case. A draft of the modified constitution has been drawn up which is 95% compliant. Adhering to certain portions (of the Sports Code) is not possible given golf’s unique nature.”

Achanta said the draft had been discussed “threadbare” by the IGU Council and would soon be placed before the EGM (a 21-day notice is required to convene it).

After passage of the draft constitution, the IGU will have to send it to the Registrar of West Bengal Societies in Kolkata (where the IGU is registered) for a formal notification. Thereafter, it will be sent to the sports ministry for its comments.

An early solution isn’t in sight and till the matter is resolved, players will suffer.

First Published: Apr 08, 2018 21:45 IST