There seems to be no end to letter-writing on the contentious subject of Union Government guidelines for National Sports Federations.
Four days after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) made public a letter it received jointly from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Union Sports Ministry on Tuesday wrote another letter to the IOC.
It was mentioned by Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas that the ministry was yet to receive the IOC letter, also addressed to Sports Minister M.S. Gill. Obviously it was reacting to reports appearing in the media.
The ministry letter on Tuesday based its fresh arguments about the government guidelines including the tenure clause on the following points:
The IOA and the National Sports Federations (NSFs) had accepted the tenure regulation when the guidelines were introduced in 1975; that these bodies had sought time to incorporate the provisions in their constitutions and consequently many of them incorporated them in their constitutions before unilaterally deleting them (some time in the 80s).
The ministry also pointed out that the IOC was silent on the points dealt with by the ministry letter of May 17 in which it had urged the IOA and the NSFs to incorporate ‘Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance of Olympic and Sports Movement' recommended by the IOC seminar in 2008 and endorsed by the Olympic Congress in October 2009.
“It is disappointing to note that the IOA General Assembly has chosen to adopt a resolution that rejects the entire 1975/2001 Government guidelines which they had themselves accepted earlier.”
The ministry has also pointed out that it had studied sports regulations in the U.S., France, Italy, Hungary, Mauritius, Malaysia and Sri Lanka and these contain several mandatory provisions to obtain recognition and financial support from the government.
Mr. Srinivas contended that there was an attempt to create a false situation of crisis “by a few interested persons whose only aim is to protect their unduly long tenures in the IOA and the NSFs.”
The letter also stated that the matter was sub judice and it would be better not to escalate it any further.
“We expect that our meeting with you (IOC President Jacques Rogge) can be scheduled early to enable a comprehensive appreciation of the entire matter,” the letter stated.
Copies have been addressed to the OCA President and the IOA President.