Indian sports seems to be at a crossroad. While their athletes have been chalking up impressive results at the international front, a number of sports associations are embroiled in various controversies.
Take a look at their recent success in sports and you may conclude that India is finally beginning to live up to its huge potential. P.V. Sindhu was crowned as the world women’s singles badminton champion. Teenager Hima Dass has been in stupendous form on the track winning numerous titles. Their national football team just held Asian champions Qatar to an impressive draw. Their junior cyclists just topped the medal table at the Asian Cup.
But at the other end of the spectrum there has been so much infighting within numerous sports associations.
The Indian Government’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) suspended the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) on the grounds of governance recently. The PCI had also been suspended in 2015 over governance issues and reinstated in 2016.
The suspension of the PCI follows the court ruling to put the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) under administration for similar reasons. After more than a year, the AKFI is still under administration as the have been unable to conduct their elections till date due to numerous ongoing violations as well as pending court cases.
Six state equestrian associations, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana, are now demanding for the withdrawal of the ministry’s recognition of EFI as a National Sports Federation (NSF) for the non-compliance of the National Sports Development Code.
Similarly, multiple-time world champion cueist Pankaj Advani had also alleged a violation of Sports Code in the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India polls after he lost the election for the vice-president’s post.
The sports ministry had also suspended the Indian Golf Union for misgovernance but have given them a three month reprieve to rectify the problems.
Earlier this year, the Indian Supreme Court rightfully set aside the Archery Association of India constitution, as amended by Delhi High Court-appointed Administrator-cum-Returning Officer SY Quraishi, and nullified the association’s elections held the previous year.
The Indian Olympic Association itself was suspended in the aftermath of the Delhi Commonwealth Games fiasco before they were reinstated.
These are just some of instances where sports administrators have put to shame with their infighting and misgovernance. The biggest victims in these instances would certainly be the athletes themselves.