Following Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision to award Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala life presidency, the sports ministry on December 30 decided to derecognise the association and suspend all the financial assistance and privileges that they are getting.
With this, the IOA will now cease to get any privileges and prerogatives that it was getting from the Indian government as the National Olympic Committee (NOC), nor will get any government financial assistance for any sport.
A statement was issued by the sports ministry on December 30 stating that the suspension would stand till IOA reverses its order on Kalmadi and Chautala.
“The government has suspended the deemed recognition, granted by it to the IOA until the IOA reverses its decision to appoint Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as Life Presidents.”
Kalmadi and Chautala appointment by IOA on December 27 seems to have opened a can of worms as the Sports Ministry has already issued a show-cause notice to the IOA and IOA’s Associate vice-president and Hockey India president Narinder Batra to has quit IOA in protest against the association’s defiant move.
IOA was supposed to give reply to the show cause notice by 5 pm December 30 but instead sought extension till January 15 to reply as their President is out of the country.
Meanwhile, IOA maintains that Kalmadi and Chautala’s appointment is just to an honorary position and that they don’t have any power as Life Presidents.
While Kalmadi has declined IOA’s offer for Life Presidency, Chautala continues to be defiant and said that it is just a ceremonial recognition for his ‘humble contribution to sports’.
He had further added that though he ready to step down from the position if IOA asks him to, he was surprised by Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s reaction, whose conduct itself was questioned at Rio Olympics where IOC threatened to withdraw his accreditation.
One must note that if IOA remains suspended for long, Indian athletes won’t we able to compete in multi-discipline games that came under the jurisdiction of the IOC.
Fortunately, there are no such sporting events in the near future thus giving India some time before this internal mess starts affecting Indian athletes on the national or international level.