Committed to abide by sports code: IOA acting president Anil Khanna

Among the points that Khanna said the IOA was working on is which are the NSFs that should be in the IOA.

Published: 19th August 2022 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2022 12:00 AM   |  A+A-

Indian Olympic Association acting president Anil Khanna.(File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: THE Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is still hoping to find a solution and avoid any indication of suspension after the Delhi High Court brought in three Committee of Administrators (CoA) to look after IOA's day-to-day functioning (they are yet to take charge). Hours after the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order on Thursday, IOA acting president Anil Khanna spoke about IOA's predicament and the issues they are trying to resolve. He did not comment on the High Court order but pointed out what the IOA is doing.

"As an institution, we are committed to abide by the sports code and the law of the land completely," Khanna told this newspaper. "We have been adhering to the code and want all our constituent units and members to follow as well. Since all National Sports Federations (NSFs) get grants, the sports ministry monitors closely whether or not they follow sports code. Recognition is based on adherence."

"We have participated at the Commonwealth Games successfully," he said. "We are in the process of hosting the National Games in Gujarat where a record number of around 10000 athletes and officials are expected to participate. So we are doing a lot."

"We are totally cooperating with the government of India," he said. "We want India to be among the top IOC representatives. The 2023 IOC session is next year. We hope to host multi-discipline events soon."

On certain provisions of the code that are not being followed by state associations, he said they are working on it. The court had said that state units cannot be part of IOA and that if included they won't have voting rights. Interestingly, the Olympic Charter allows besides 70 individual members, 15 representatives of International Federations and 15 from National Olympic Committees, while 15 are active athletes.

Khanna also pointed out that the IOA has agreed to most of the 13 points that had been addressed by the court. "We have agreed with most of the 13 points the honourable court had mentioned. There are two-three points that we need to discuss and we are working on them."

Among the points that Khanna said the IOA was working on is which are the NSFs that should be in the IOA. "Olympic sports NSFs are fine but we cannot ignore other sports as well. Take for example traditional and indigenous sports like kabaddi, kho-kho and so on. They should be part of IOA like other NSFs. That way we can promote them. Recently we had a discussion about promoting indigenous sports during the Commonwealth Games Federation meeting."

While talking about the July 20 letter addressed to the executive board of the IOA that had mentioned about suspension if elections were not held in the coming weeks, Khanna said that things will get clearer soon. He said that a delegation is planning to meet the IOC on September 1-2 to sort out matters. "I think we should not give them the opportunity to talk about suspension. I don't agree with the FIFA suspension. They could have talked with us also. I thought they were a bit hasty."

As for the 12-year term, Khanna felt that 20 was better because that would give officials more time to get connected with the international federations and eventually get into IFs as officials which will eventually help the country to grow.

As of now, however, all eyes are to the date of the Supreme Court hearing on August 22.


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