Fast track courts should decide sports disputes: Malhotra


New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) vice president Vijay Kumar Malhotra Wednesday said the government has no right to recognise or de-recognise any sports federation and it is for the IOA or the international body to intervene and sort such issues out.

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Malhotra, who took exception to the sports ministry interfering in the working of the National Sports Federations (NSF), said fast track courts should be set up to sit in judgment over disputes in the NSFs.

Malhotra, who is also the president of the General Association of National Sports Federations (GANSF) told reporters that the government should not be the arbiter in the disputes in the federations.

“The sports ministry has no role to play in the running of a federation and it is for the IOA or the concerned international federation to resolve the disputes.”

Malhotra had no objection to invoking Right to Information (RTI) as the federations could not take shelter saying they are autonomous bodies as they are essentially public institutions.

“Autonomy does not mean the sports bodies should not come under RTI. In any case, where is the autonomy? There is a government nominee in everything right from the selection committee to overseeing the training of sportspersons,” he said.

Malhotra also wanted the sports ministry to treat all disciplines alike as preferrential treatment will lead to needless tension and heartburn among sportspersons. Also, the government should not give the impression that it would understand only the language of coercion, threats and strikes.

“Athletes of all disciplines should get the same facilities and remuneration. Collecting money as a one-off dole is not the right way to go about it. There should be proper system of payment to all athletes and the government cannot be seen favouring any particular discipline. For instance, hockey has only two gold medals (men and women) where as so many other medals were also at stake and they should not be ignored.”

Talking of rewards, he said the government should announce the rewards for the medal winners in the Commonwealth Games.

“As it is, the cash awards for medal winners in multi-discipline events have been drastically reduced instead of increasing them and they should first be restored. Medal winners of the South Asian Games should also be rewarded.”

On the appointment of coaches, Malhotra said they cannot be appointed arbitrarily and there should be uniform rules.