New Delhi: The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has issued a showcause notice to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for appointing Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as its lifetime presidents.
Vijay Goel said that the Sports Ministry will stop its dealings with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) if the latter does not reverse its decision to appoint Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as the lifetime presidents of the association.
"Suresh Kalmadi and Chautala being made IOA's life presidents is against its constitution and unacceptable to the ministry," Sports Minister Vijay Goes was quoted as saying by PTI.
"We are disappointed with the IOA's decision as both of them have are facing corruption and criminal charges. We want transparency, good governance and accountability in IOA as well the other national sports federations.
"IOA is not paying attention all this (ministry's guidelines) and that is why we have decided to send them a show-cause notice. Till the time Kalmadi and Chautala are not removed or they resign themselves, we won't deal with IOA on any matter," he said further.
"This has nothing to do with politics. It concerns two tainted officials. Their elevation as Life Presidents sends out a very wrong message. We respect the Olympic charter. We talk about autonomy of sports federations but autonomy only comes after good governance, transparency and accountability. If IOA continues to take decision like these, the government will have to take action," he said.
Narinder Batra, FIH president, was also present at the felicitation alongside India coach Harendra Singh. Batra also happens to be one of the eight associate vice-presidents of the IOA.
He too strongly opposed IOA's decision of making Kalmadi and Chautala life presidents.
"I don't agree with it at all. Rule 5 of IOA's constitution clearly states that anyone who has been charged/framed under IPC or under prevention of corruption act, he can't be in IOA. I don't know exactly what charges have been levelled against Kalmadi and Chautala.
"Keeping the interests of Indian sports in mind, they both should not accept the life presidency of IOA until their names are cleared. It sends out negative signals to the global sports fraternity," Batra told PTI.
The IOA offers lifetime presidency to all of its former presidents. However, the ex-IOA president has declined the IOA’s offer to make him a life-president, Kalmadi’s lawyer said to NDTV.
According to his lawyer, Kalmadi believes that it is not an appropriate time for him to take up the aforementioned post at the IOA.
Former IOA presidents Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala were named as the IOA’s lifetime presidents on Tuesday, a decision that drew a lot of flak.
The decision to make Kalmadi and Chautala life presidents was heavily criticised, with Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel terming it as “unacceptable”.
"We are shocked at the resolution passed by the IOA to make Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as Life Presidents of IOA. This is totally unacceptable to us as both of them are facing serious corruption and criminal charges," Goel said.
"In fact, IOA was suspended by the IOC when Chautala and Lalit Bhanot were elected office bearers of the IOA and the suspension was lifted only when the two were removed from the management,” he further said.
The main bone of contention is that Kalmadi has allegedly been involved in corrupt practices during the 2010 Commonwealth Games , when he was the president of the IOA. Kalmadi has been charged with conspiracy, forgery, misconduct and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and was later arrested in 2014. However, he is yet to face trial.