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New Sports Code recommendations might stop MPs, MLAs and Ministers from acquiring top Federation posts 

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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1.75K   //    25 Oct 2017, 16:18 IST

A new bill is being contemplated by the Sports Ministry, which would bar politicians from taking up administrative posts in National Sports Federation.
A new bill is being contemplated by the Sports Ministry, which would bar politicians from taking up administrative posts in National Sports Federation.

The latest recommendations to revise the National Sports Development Code (NSDC) are all set to remove top government politicians - including MPs, MLAs and Ministers - from top federation posts within India's sporting hierarchy. Even bureaucrats will not be given any authority to govern sport in India, with a 20 per cent increase in representation of athletes and a further 40 per cent upward rise in representation of women.

These particular recommendations were submitted by a nine-member committee to the Delhi HC in a sealed envelope for immediate deliberation. However, there is no confirmation of a time frame for the execution or confirmation of the new draft code.

Apart from these primary highlights, another recommendation requests the Delhi High Court to bar any family member from taking up a post, in the absence of the elected candidate.

A source close to the Sports Ministry told Sportskeeda, "The basic idea is to keep the sport as the most integral part of the federation and not the politics it has to inherently deal with when Ministers or MLA's do take over. We have seen in sports such as Taekwondo, where the sport's progress became completely static and it was essentially being run as a family business. These recommendations are basically to avoid such situations in the near future."

There will also be a 'cooling off' period of about four years, before a relative can even contest a Federation election.

If the code is implemented later this year, top officials such as Badminton Association of India (BAI) President Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is currently serving as the Assam Health Minister, might have to vacate their post.

A senior BAI official said, "If you think it's just inherent talent that has improved the state of badminton in India, it's not. It is also the number of matches that the shuttlers play. Think about it; four years back how many tournaments did we have? So many shuttlers are playing international tournaments on a regular basis; you think all this money is being generated internally?

"We will have as many as five regional academies opening up by the end of the year. If this is implemented and it really does happen, it will be unfortunate."

According to the BAI constitution, if the President is asked to step down, the Vice President and other office bearers take over office, till there is a re-election for the post.

Other high profile Federation officials include Brij Bhushan Singh from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), who is an MP from Kaiserganj, Uttar Pradesh, and Cycling Federation of India (CFI) President Parminder Singh Dhindsa, who is an MLA from Punjab. Under the latter's governance, India recently won three medals at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) - highlighting their credentials as potential Olympic qualifiers in Tokyo.

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Sports journalist, dream to see India at the pinnacle of the sporting landscape one day.
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