No website, no recognition, warns sports ministry

By Express News Service  |   Published: 04th January 2017 07:35 AM  |

CHENNAI: The Sports Ministry is not taking anything for granted from National Sports Federations anymore. Even though most federations have complied with the National Sports Code, the sports ministry is keeping a close watch on them. Just a few days after the ministry withdrew ‘deemed’ recognition to the Indian Olympic Association, the ministry recently sent out another circular reminding each of federation to renew their annual recognition.

It warned that if they don’t meet the ministry demand by March 31, all government assistance, including railway concessions, might be stopped. A letter signed by Sagar Preet Hooda, director (sports), ministry of sports, directs all those national federations who have not met the criteria set by the ministry to renew recognition. The letter is addressed to the secretary of Sports Authority of India.

Surprisingly, only seven out of 48 federations listed out for renewal have met the criteria. “Seven NSFs, namely All India Chess Federation, Hockey India, Amateur Soft Tennis Federation of India, Indian Body Builders Federation, Table Tennis Federation of India, Cycling Federation of India and Karate Association of India, have fully complied with the instructions on suo moto disclosure of required information of the Ministry,” said the letter.

“The remaining 41 NSFs either do not have their own websites or have not hosted complete information on their websites, as per the instruction of the ministry on suo-moto disclosure,” added the letter. Primary concern of the ministry is an updated website. “The ministry’s main priority is transparency,” said a federation official, who’s body met the ministry’s criteria. “Fair election, right candidate, annual general meeting and hosting of tournaments are some of the things they look at. They want our website to be complete and updated with audited accounts.”

It is learned that even expenditure under ACTC too needs to be explained.
Responses have been mixed among federations as well. While some said they have not yet received any official communication, some said it is a routine affair. One federation even said this time a new criteria has been added, that of a selection committee following the sports code. Over to the rest of the federations now for the next move.

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