Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal says he is not against the autonomy of the National Sports Federations but wants them to be accountable. The MP from Assam said his Ministry is considering having a system to make NSFs accountable without compromising their autonomy.

“Let them enjoy their autonomy but at the same time they have to perform as per the expectations of the people of the country. Accountability must be there,” Mr. Sonowal told PTI-Basha in an interview.

“Maintaining discipline and standards is must and let them have more democratic approach within the federation. There should be democratic set up and functioning. We have to have a check on it. We will be happy if they behave like this,” he said.

Mr. Sonowal said he also wants to have cordial relations with all NSFs including BCCI. In previous government there was a fierce battle between Ministry and BCCI on the issue of bringing the latter under the ambit of RTI.

“My Ministry will have cordial relation with all the NSFs and units and with their support we want to grow. I believe in co-ordination not confrontation,” said the Minister.

“I could say one line. Sports should be above controversy, malpractices and corruption. That is the desire and expectation of the countrymen,” he added. Asked if the Sports Bill was still in pipeline, he said that it has to be discussed.

“Sports Bill was there but we will have to see it. We require a lot of discussion on that. We need democratic process, new ideas, assessment, and analysis. I will not go into details but it requires discussion with all the stakeholders,” said Mr. Sonowal.

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