Hyderabad: Sports in the country would soon be rid of politics and power play, paving way for cleaner fields and fairplay that would facilitate talented sportspersons’ efforts to win laurels for the country, if Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s plan to sanitise the system comes through.
“Our motto is cleanliness and transparency in sport and we are working hard towards achieving it,” Mr Goel told this newspaper on the sidelines of the inauguration of the All India Police Equestrian Championship in Hyderabad on Monday.
Mr Goel served a warning to conniving administrators who have occupied prime positions in national sports bodies for ages and hinted at their imminent exit. “Our top priority is to improve the national sports development code in tune with the expectation of the public so that they (the administrators) will not treat sports federations as their private limited companies but have accountability to the people and the nation,” he said.
Mr Goel did not wish to comment on the morning blow to BCCI though. “The Sports Ministry is not in the picture, the matter is between the BCCI and the Supreme Court,” is all he said when asked to comment on the apex court sacking BCCI president and his party MP Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke earlier in the day.
“The National Sports Code is in force and efforts are on to clean up sport in the country. The Code covers a lot of things which may overlap with the Lodha Committee’s recommendations vis-a-viz the BCCI,” he added.
Mr Goel reiterated the government’s resolve to set right sports administration. “You would have already seen the steps (the Sports Ministry has taken) in the recent IOA episode,” he said pointing to the suspension of the national Olympic body in the wake of tainted officials Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala being made life presidents.
“Post the IOA fiasco, I have formed a committee to look into the affairs of sports administration in the country and I myself am speaking to all the stakeholders. I have called for a meeting of all the sports federations as also all the Olympians, Arjuna awardees, Khel Ratna recipients as well as sportspersons who have won national awards and have sought their suggestions for the allround improvement of sport in the country,” he said.
“I have also called for a meeting of all sports ministers from all the states and others who are connected with the games and am working towards thrashing out a concrete plan to firm up sport in the country,” Mr Goel said of the proposed plan of action....