CHENNAI : With the Olympic qualification year fast approaching, the Archery Association of India’s (AAI) efforts to come back into the mainstream after six years and win back their affiliation with the sports ministry have taken another beating. If normalcy is not restored within a month, the federation is staring at de-affiliation by the world body.
All due to some contentious clauses/rules in the revised constitution as mandated by the sports ministry. The Supreme Court, under whose watch the election is taking place, has given its consent as of now. However, the World Archery Federation is not on the same page.A couple of days after the WAF sent a strongly-worded letter to AAI and stakeholders to resolve disputes concerning de-recognition, sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar on Wednesday sent a letter to SY Quraishi, the court-appointed administrator of AAI, objecting to certain provisions in the revised constitution.
In a letter in possession of this newspaper, Bhatnagar says that Quraishi’s revised draft is not in accordance with the national sports code (usually followed by national federations). Quraishi’s draft focusses on the revised draft of the sports code and Justice Lodha recommendations for the BCCI. AAI’s main grouse was that in the original sports code, there was no mention of ministers and public servants being barred from holding positions. But in Quraishi’s draft, they are not allowed to hold posts.
“Several deviations have been brought to my notice vis-a-vis provisions of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, such as prohibiting public servants from being office bearers in the AAI, voting rights for all members including associate and individual members, etc. These will have a direct impact on the electoral college, eligibility of candidates and outcome of the elections,” says the letter.
Elections are scheduled for December 22, the process has already begun. But with the constitution not in line with sports code, AAI will not be re-recognised by the government and WAF will have no choice but to disaffiliate AAI.
“The revised constitution is against the IOC charter. If the country’s sports code is not followed and an arbitrary constitution is followed which looks like has been put forward by activist lawyers with an agenda, then archers will suffer. The world body will derecognise them,” IOA president Narinder Batra said.
In the letter, the ministry informs Quraishi that an election based on a constitution not compliant with the country’s laws will prove fruitless. “It may be brought to the notice of the Hon’ble Court that continuing with elections with a constitution not fully conforming to the provisions of the NSDCI, 2011, might render the exercise infructuous and might also require fresh elections. You may request the Hon’ble Court to allow postponing of the elections...”
Even the AAI is worried. “Our aim is to get re-recognised. We have been following SC guidelines. After all that if the same problem surfaces, then it’s a major issue. We would like the constitution to be amended according to the sports code. I sent a mail to SY Quraishi a couple of days ago,” AAI secretary general Anil Kamineni added.