CHENNAI: The sports ministry withdrew the letter of renewal of annual recognition of national sports federations (NSFs) for 2020 a day after the Delhi High Court's order on Wednesday. Even though the recognition was provisional in nature, the order asked the ministry to withdraw the letter within two days. In what seems like an unprecedented situation, no sports body is recognised now.
The sports ministry had informed the court that because of the lockdown due to the pandemic, a lot of federations could not complete the formalities and hence the ministry had granted them provisional recognition until September 30. The yearly recognition makes them eligible for government grants for national competitions, training and exposure trips. It also allows them to hold nationals and certificates given can be used for seeking jobs or getting admissions into education institutions.
Beside, the railways gives athletes and officials concession for travel if they participate in nationals. There is, however, ambiguity as to how the NSFs would be hosting events if they are not recognised, something the sports minister has been advocating for a while.
The Delhi High Court, through an order in February, made it mandatory for the sports ministry and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to intimate the court before taking any decision regarding NSFs. "The Court further directs that both the IOA and MYAS will, hereafter while seeking to take any decision in relation to the NSFs, inform the Court in advance," said the February order.
The ministry, however, is expected to take a decision on how to take this forward. Also, federations and the ministry are not overtly worried as there are no sporting activities going on. Under normal circumstances, hosting nationals and receiving grants from the ministry would have been affected.