IOA should put sport before personal ambition
In simple terms, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is in a deep mess. If things don’t improve, it might incur the wrath of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and even face a ban.
Published: 26th July 2022 07:25 AM | Last Updated: 26th July 2022 07:25 AM | A+A A-
In simple terms, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is in a deep mess. If things don’t improve, it might incur the wrath of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and even face a ban. It’s the proverbial frying pan into the fire feeling. Things are degenerating for the petty officials intent on clinging to their positions than improving sports in the country. The IOA has faced a slew of court cases since last year, and its election process, due on December 19, was stalled. Former IOA president Narinder Batra faced the heat from the CBI and his rival camp, led by secretary-general Rajeev Mehta, seemed to be controlling the day-to-day functioning.
The Delhi HC removed Batra as IOA president and allowed former AITA chief, Anil Khanna, to continue as the acting president. Some executive council members of the IOA cried foul and said that Khanna’s appointment was unconstitutional. Mehta and Co were on overdrive from signing an MoU with the Gujarat government for conducting the National Games after a seven-year gap to sending athletes to the Commonwealth Games.
Then came a couple of shockers. On a day when the CBI raided and registered a case of misappropriation of funds against Batra, the latter resigned as IOA president. The IOC sent a letter that said IOA could be suspended if elections are not held under the present constitution as early as possible. If any sanction is imposed before the Commonwealth Games, India might have to compete under a Commonwealth Games Federation or IOC flag.
A day later, the acting president said the IOC was a little off the line in sending such a warning. It said that despite seeking time for a meeting, the IOC had not given them time. In short, the warning is not fair. Though India was suspended in 2012 for more than two years, IOA would not want it again. The consequences could be grave. This is a matter of concern for the Indian Olympic sports that have been doing well for a while. The IOA has been in a mess and is torn between the Batra and Mehta camps. If the two factions don’t rise beyond their personal ambitions, IOA is facing doom.