The Indian Olympic Association today decided to hold its Special General Body Meeting to amend its constitution on August 25 as directed by the IOC under the blueprint prepared for the country’s return to the Olympic fold.
In a meeting at New Delhi which lasted barely half an hour before it was adjourned, the IOA also decided to hold its elections tentatively on September 22.
The IOA was to amend its constitution in a Special GBM today following an earlier directive of the International Olympic Committee but it had to change its plan after the IOC extended the deadline.
In a letter last week, the IOC said it would take some more time to study the proposed amendments sent by the IOA and hence the Special GBM could be held between August 22 and 28 and the elections one month later.
President of the suspended IOA, Abhay Singh Chautala, who presided the Requisition Special General Body Meeting, adjourned it after taking a decision on the date of the Special GBM.
“More than 120 out of 180-odd members of the IOA and more than 30 NSFs and state Olympic associations took part in today’s meeting. The House unanimously took the decision to hold the Special General Body Meeting on August 25 to amend the constitution,” he told reporters after the meeting.
“We understand that IOC representatives will be among us between August 22 and 28 and accordingly we have fixed the date for the Special GBM,” he added.
When asked about some federations not turning up today, Mr. Chautala sought to strike a conciliatory note and said, “We would write to those who did not turn up today about what happened and will seek suggestions from them. We want the betterment of Indian sports and sportspersons.”
He also said that he has no difference with IOC’s member in India, Randhir Singh, who was against today’s meeting.
“I have no difference with Randhir. I had discussions with him regarding a solution to this issue (of India’s return to Olympic fold),” Mr. Chautala said without elaborating.
Asked about the age and tenure restriction guidelines contained in the Draft Sports Bill released by the government yesterday, Mr. Chautala said, “We are not under any pressure from the government or IOC. The IOA will decide the issue under its constitution which conforms to Olympic Charter,” he said.
The Sports Ministry, on its part, said that it will not get directly involved in the IOA matters.
“We were aware of the new date for the adjourned meeting.
The roadmap is an agreement between the NSFs, IOA and IOC. The government is not directly involved. However, we are keeping abreast of the developments,” Sports Secretary P K Deb told PTI when asked if the IOA consulted it on the date of Special GBM.
The IOC had initially set a July 15 deadline for the amendment of the IOA Constitution so that elections could be held by September 1 to pave the way for lifting the ban on India imposed on December 4 last year.
But on Saturday, it conveyed to the IOA that it would be able to send its comments on the proposed amendments in the IOA Constitution only by mid-August, delaying the entire process by a month.
”... first step of the process, namely the Extraordinary Meeting to (i) adopt revised Constitution, (ii) elect the independent election commission and (iii) decide upon the exact date of Elective General Assembly, as per the IOC roadmap of 24 May 2013, will be slightly postponed and shall now take place in the period between 22 and 28 August 2013 (considering also the fact that the Asian Youth Games will begin on 16 August),” IOC Director General, Christophe De Kepper, had said in his letter.
“As a consequence, the Elective General Assembly shall be held one month later, namely between 22 and 28 September 2013.”