The Union Sports Ministry has de-recognised the Archery Association of India (AAI) for violating the age and tenure clauses of the National Sports Code.

Addressing mediapersons here on Friday, Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said the AAI, which held its elections on November 9 last, would stand de-recognised unless it held fresh elections as per the Government guidelines.

“The AAI has violated the age and tenure codes. The president-elect (V.K. Malhotra) of the AAI has served more than three consecutive terms and he is also above the age (limit) of 70 years,” said the Minister.

“The High Court in a Civil Writ petition (earlier this year) had directed the Government not to grant recognition to the AAI unless it held elections as per the Sports Code. In view of the directions of the High Court, the Government has no option but to withdraw recognition of the AAI.”

The AAI was one of the few National federations which had not accepted the Sports Code. The Delhi High Court, in an order, had directed the AAI to conduct its elections as per its own constitution as well as the Sports Code.

Malhotra, who had been at the helm of the AAI for four decades, was re-elected president following a comprehensive win over his rival B.V.P. Rao, Convenor of Clean Sports India.

Jitendra Singh said the AAI had been advised to hold fresh elections for the post of president in conformity with the Sports Code and amend its constitution to bring it in conformity with the Sports Code and Olympic Charter.

The Minister informed that the de-recognised AAI would not get any kind of financial assistance from the Government. However, the Government was contemplating interim measures so that the athletes’ training and participation in international events were not affected.

“The Government will also open a dialogue with the international body to ensure that participation of Indian athletes is not hampered in any way,” said Jitendra Singh.

Malhotra said on Friday that the ministry had no right to de-recognise his association. “We have not violated any rule or law of the land and the decision is illegal,” he said.

He said the Sports Code had no legal sanctity and it was not even a Gazette notification. He said the ministry had been “misleading the public” by giving false information regarding the code being the same as the Olympic Charter.

Malhotra said the elections to the AAI were held as per its constitution and held in an open manner.

In the past two years, the ministry had issued suspension/warning letters to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) because of these federations not following the guidelines. Both federations had subsequently fallen in line.

  • AAI to not get any financial assistance from Govt.

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