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‘Sports code could bar MPs, MLAs from federations, state associations posts’
NEW DELHI, Nov 12: The latest revision to the National Sports Code includes suggestions which, if implemented, will make ministers, parliamentarians, members of legislative assemblies (MLAs) and bureaucrats ineligible to hold key posts in national sports federations (NSFs) and other autonomous sports bodies.

The draft code also recommends provisions for adequate representation of athletes in the NSFs. About 20% seats would be reserved for athletes while women would get 40% representation.

While taking a leaf from the Lodha panel recommendations in Indian cricket, the revisions made to the original sports code of 2011 go a step further. The Lodha panel had recommended debarring ministers and government servants from becoming officebearers (president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer) in BCCI. The sports code has included MPs and MLAs in its sweep. If the recommendations of the revised National Sports Code come into play, Himanta Biswa Sarma, president of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), would have to leave his position since he is also Assam's health minister. Wrestling Federation of India's (WFI) head, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, would have to similarly exit since he is an MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh.

These recommendations are part of the revised edition of the National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI), which the nine-member committee submitted to Delhi HC in a sealed envelope for its consideration. The matter is sub judice.

Equally crucial in these revisions is the move to debar close family members or relatives from being elected to the NSFs immediately after the term of an office-bearer has ended to mandatorily serve the cooling-off period.

This shall be the best decision taken by government. This will definitely improve the playing condition and players performance in games .

"This effectively implies that an office-bearer's son, daughter, wife, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, among others, wouldn't be able to occupy a position immediately after his stepping down from the post," a top ministry official told, adding, "The office-bearer would be serving a mandatory cooling-off period after his/her term. Once that period is completed, the office-bearer or his/her family member would become eligible to contest again."

However, the contentious issue of tenure has been offered some relaxation in the sports code. The committee has recommended a maximum of 12-year tenure for office-bearers with a four-year cooling-off period between the second and third terms of four-year each. This means, an office-bearer can serve up to eight years at a stretch before going for a cooling-off period and then return back to serve one more term of four years.

News Updated at : Monday, November 13, 2017
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