Just before the meeting of National Sports Federations (NSF), Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Sports Ministry, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said that he would hammer out an amicable solution to the issue of sports code.
Apart from the sports code, several other issues related to Olympic preparation and planning will be discussed during the meeting.
“I want a sports code, which will be universally acceptable. It will be very suitable for sports and will not lead to any controversy. We will hammer out all issues amicably including the sports code,” Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Rijiju told reporters.
“Why should the court intervene in sports administration because of the failure of the administration itself. If the courts are intervening in sports matters, it is because of the failure of sports mechanism,” he said.
The Sports Minister said that he did not want courts to intervene in sports issues. “For this to happen, we have to create a situation where controversy does not arise at all,” Rijiju told reporters.
When asked about dispute over sports code, he said: “There will be no issues because all are on board. I am having excellent relationships with everybody including IOA and all the functionaries of the sports federation.”
“There will be no issue. I will hammer out an amicable solution talking with everybody. There is no dispute. Let me assure you once again the sports code will be reviewed with full consensus. There will be no controversy. Everybody will be on board. IOA has to be part of it. IOA is the face of the Olympics,” he said.
Rijiju also said that the government only intervenes because of the interest of the athletes.
“De-recognition is due to infighting and non-functioning of the body. Whenever the government intervenes, it is only because of the interest of the athletes and of the sports. We have to send athletes to the world championships. If the body is not functioning or splits into two, who will decide. Then the athletes will not be able to go. That is why the government has to intervene to ensure the participation of India in the international event,” he said.
Rijiju said that they are going to have a ‘very engaging’ discussion with the NSF and the IOA.
“We are going to have a very engaging discussion with the NSF and the IOA. We will work out certain modalities. We have to find a solution. The government along with stakeholders has to come together and find a way forward, which is beneficial for the country and the sports,” said Rijiju.
“The objective is the interest of the sports must be kept in mind when we take any decision. The interest of the players is something which is an important thing. If we make a decision and if it is not in the interest of the sports, then there is no point,” he added.
Rijiju also raised his concern over the Olympics saying that they cannot participate in the tournament unprepared.
“The IOA and all the federation secretary and president, and all important functionaries are here today. This is the first conference, which has been called. This conference will lead to a way forward thinking unitedly for all of us because the 2020 Olympics is just 10 months away. We have to be not only mentally prepared but logistically in terms of policymaking, in terms of all support system; everything must be ready; we can’t go to Olympic unprepared,” said he.
Rijiju said all the stakeholders will have their say.
“Policies are going to be broad-based and all the stakeholders are going to have their say. There is nothing called imposition on the ministry or anybody. The sports federation is run by very experienced people. They also know what is important for sports; what is the level of governance we require. The governance of sports federation is absolutely important to have a way of the system where it doesn’t have an adverse impact on the sports itself,” he said.
“We provide all assistance to them. The government provides all kinds of help to the federation, all kinds of events, everything is as per the permission of the government; events are held on the permission of the government. There is no question of interference. Together we are a team,” said the minister.
Rijiju said he will take the final call after inputs from all the stakeholders including the IOA and the NSF.
“We can’t single out any profession with regard to the governance of sports. It is wrong to say that businessmen can’t take part in the federation; politicians can’t take part, and officials can’t take part. Then who will run? It is who is how efficient, how suitable to run the sports federation. That is what we have to see,” he said.
“There is no middle path. We are together. What I am going to take as a final call is something on the basis of the consensus, the inputs from all the stakeholders including the IOA and the sports federation,” added Rijiju.