CHENNAI: There is good news for three national sports federations. The Indian Golf Union (IGU), Rowing Federation of India (RFI) and School Games Federation of India (SGFI) are on course to regain the sports ministry's recognition after being left out of the fold for different reasons. The ministry submitted an affidavit to this effect to the Delhi High Court on June 16. If the court gives its approval, the three federations will have their suspension of recognition revoked.
The IGU's recognition was not renewed for failing to submit a list of elected office-bearers. The RFI's election held in December was deemed to be in violation of the National Sports Development Code. The matter of SGFI was more serious. It was charged of mismanagement leading to the girls' hockey team missing a match in the 2017 Pacific School Games in Adelaide, where a member of the girls' football team drowned in a beach accident caused by high tide.
The ministry affidavit says SGFI's suspension can be revoked if certain members of the contingent to Adelaide are suspended for five years. "...All officials Chef-De-Mission, all General Manager/Managers of the Indian contingent fielded by the SGFI for the 10th Pacific School Games, Adelaide, Mr Gaurav Dixit (PRO, SGFI) and unauthorised person Ms Akanksha Thapak will not be associated with SGFI in any capacity as well as in any manner for a period of 5 years..," it says. Three other officials had been banned for life earlier.
Custodian of amateur golf and the body which helps the Indian Olympic Association send teams to Olympic, Asian and SAF Games, IGU held elections in December, 2018, but could not announce results because of a stay order. That was lifted and a meeting was called to declare names of elected office-bearers on March 23, which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. After considering IGU's request, the ministry has granted it provisional recognition.
However, declaration of election results remains pending and can only be done at an annual general meeting, which is not possible until the Covid situation improves. So IGU will continue to function under an interim body headed by Lt Gen Devraj Anbu.
In case of RFI, the ministry found its election held on February 22 satisfactory and decided to restore its recognition. According to the ministry affidavit signed by Under Secretary Raju Bagga, these three federations have been given provisional recognition till September 30.