BENGALURU: After the Delhi High Court provisionally allowed the newly-elected Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) office-bearers to take charge, they had their first executive committee meeting on Wednesday. In the meeting, in the presence of the government observer SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, the office-bearers presented a five-year plan in compliance with the draft National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI).
As per the proposed roadmap, the EFI will instruct state bodies to work with district units in nurturing talents and build new facilities. "Indian Olympic Association (IOA) wanted us to prepare a roadmap on how we are going to develop the sport in districts, states, and the country. We submitted a new five-year roadmap to the government observer," said Kishore Futnani, EFI secretary, South Zone. "We are trying to get people in districts and start equestrian centres. We are planning to have good training facilities with good horses at the grassroots level and program to train the trainers and officials."
Interestingly, those were the challenges EFI mentioned while arguing with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the IOA over implementation of the sports code. The EFI was derecognised by the IOA for non-compliance. However, as the sports ministry extended EFI recognition until March 31, 2020 earlier this month, the national body is now ready to discuss the way forward and earn back IOA recognition.
“Equestrian is different from the other sports. All states and districts don’t have facilities and horses. Not everywhere you can keep the horses. They need proper treatment. Also, we have to change the structure of the federation as not every state has an equestrian association and individuals have voting rights. Those are the things the federation is working on. We have requested the sports code to be amended and if they give us time then we will be fine,” said Futnani.
The junior national equestrian meet began at the Embassy Riding School on Friday. EIRS will host the dressage and show-jumping events while eventing and tent-pegging will be held at the ASC equestrian centre. The meet will also serve as the qualifier for the 2nd Asian Equestrian Federation U-21 Dressage Championship to be held in Doha next year.
Sports Authority of India yet to get extension notice?
Sports Authority of India (SAI) on December 13 filed a short counter-affidavit in the Delhi High Court saying it has not received any communication from sports ministry regarding extension of EFI’s recognition. Earlier, the ministry had extended EFI’s recognition until March 31, 2020.
The affidavit filed by the SAI through its regional director Radhica Sreeman may complicate things for the EFI. Rajasthan Equestrian Federation has filed a writ petition against EFI requesting the court to stop it from holding elections. The court, however, allowed the EFI to hold polls and subsequently permitted its newly-appointed office-bearers to take charge. It has given respondents four weeks to file counter-affidavit.