We need the sports Bill to ensure transparency: Jitendra Singh

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 08, 2012 18:58 hrs

pIt hasn&rsquot been the welcome strongJitendra Singhstrong perhaps expected The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports has been barely two months in his new job and Indian sport finds itself in a mess Singh took over from Ajay Maken at a time when India was riding on the high of its most successful Olympic showing So far Singh has seen the suspension of the Indian Olympic Committee by the International Olympic Association and the derecognition of the boxing and archery federations Indian sport has been managed haphazardly in the past as well but Singh is confident of resolving the current issues and improving its standard He talks to emAabhas Sharma emabout the challenges aheadppstrongWhat prompted the government to derecognise the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation IABF and the Archery Association of India AAIstrongbr AAI violated the age and tenure restrictions of the sports code The president V K Malhotra is over 70 years and he was re-elected The high court had issued a directive to the government that the association be derecognised if the elections aren&rsquot held according to the government&rsquos sports code We had no other option but to take this step The boxing federation has been suspended for conducting flawed elections It didn&rsquot give candidates enough time for nomination and when the nominations did not come in people were just picked from the house IABF and AAI have been told to hold fresh electionsppstrongWhat do you make of the IOC-IOA mess that is threatening Indian sportstrongbr At the moment it is important that we look forward and do whatever we can to resolve the issue The government remains committed to take every possible step to speak with IOA and IOC but it&rsquos not as simple as it seems There are a lot of issues that need to be sorted Sports federations need to follow the sports codeppstrongWhat are the complications or difficulties that lie aheadstrongbr First the ministry only has an advisory role and we don&rsquot have the mandate to directly resolve the issue between IOC and IOA But we will try our best so that our athletes don&rsquot suffer too much We had spoken to IOA officials and requested them to incorporate the government&rsquos sports code that adheres to the IOC Olympic charter But unfortunately it wasn&rsquot done We are open to dialogue with the international bodies as well as our own federations to make sure that the right measures are put in place so that we don&rsquot jeopardise the future of our athletesppstrongDo you think politicians should be allowed to be part of sport bodies and federationsstrongbr I believe that we need a strong sports Bill in place We have been discussing and debating about it for quite some time We aren&rsquot sure when it will be passed but it is the need of the hour A strong sports Bill would ensure transparency which I think is essential for a better futureppstrongWhat is the way forward for Indian sportstrongbr Our top priority are athletes and the young people who aspire to take up sport as a career We have to ensure they get the best facilities and don&rsquot suffer because of any external factors And we remain committed to make that happen If strong steps need to be taken then we will do what is in our capacity for the betterment of Indian sportp

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