CHENNAI : The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) is losing more and more friends by the day. On Wednesday, it was the turn of the Equestrian Association of Gujarat to fire a letter to sports minister Kiren Rijiju about how EFI’s noncompliance vis-a-vis the sports code is impacting the sport.
“Contrary to the claims of the EFI, the true representatives of regional sport in the state must be the state associations,” the body’s president, Dharmendra Patel, wrote. In June, EFI had sought an exemption from coming under the ambit of the sports code under the pretext of it being a club-based sport. The EFI has got previous exemptions to have enjoyed the freedom of having individual members and also giving them voting rights.
In a five-point letter, Patel also highlighted several points first reported by this daily in June. “The EFI also follows the practice of direct allocation of national events to clubs and units in our states instead of under the aegis of the state associations. Such practice has impaired the growth of the sport.
“By failing to follow the sports code, the EFI has violated the clear directive of the sports ministry, maybe due to vested interests of the Secretary General to be more powerful. This is against the interest of civilian members of the EFI as well as the sport in general.”
While concluding, Patel hoped that Rijiju could perhaps ‘see that the EFI withdraws its request to be exempt from and instead is encouraged to comply with the sports code’.Reacting to the letter in the same mail, Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra said the matter will be given due attention. Addressing EFI secretary RK Swain in his reply, Batra wrote. “Please tag the trailing email in the papers for discussion when we meet for discussion.”
The state federations have been requesting the EFI to have more say in the governance as mandated by the National Sports Development Code 2011. Rajasthan, Goa, Bengal, Maharashra are some of the federations that already voiced their concern. They don’t want Army to lose control altogether but asking for parity in the federation. The states are also against members both individual and clubs voting during elections.