IOA Infighting : As India fights Corona, IOA’S infighting reaches IOC

As the country is fighting its gut out against the Covid 19 pandemic and sport stays shut – the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) infighting between groups led by IOA chief Narinder Batra and its secretary general Rajeev Mehta has reached the doorsteps of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The wrangling within the IOA escalated at the weekend with vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal writing to the IOC alleging that IOA president Narinder Batra was elected to the top posts of the international hockey federation (FIH) and IOA on the basis of false affidavits.
Mittal, has petitioned to the IOC president Thomas Bach and its executive board, terming as “illegal” the appointment of Batra as the president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). He has also alleged that the 63-year-old administrator submitted false declaration to the IOA in his bid to contest for its presidency, to which he got elected in December 2017.

 

Batra was elected FIH president in 2016 and IOA president in 2017. He was elected an IOC member last year.

Mittal’s letter to IOC executive board on Saturday, released to the media on Sunday, said, “when Batra was nominated as well as elected as the president of FIH he was also holding the post of president of Hockey India. This is not permissible according to the statute of FIH.” 

Mittal has further alleged, “In December 2017, the elections of the IOA were due. Shockingly, Batra was nominated as a candidate for the IOA president’s post and he accepted the same. Batra was a representative on behalf of the HI in IOA’s elections and voted as a representative on behalf of the HI. Since he had already resigned from any office bearer’s post with the HI in order to comply with the FIH statute, there is no possible way that he could be in the executive committee of the HI, unless Batra had given false declaration to the FIH and to everyone else that he had resigned from the HI,” read Mittal’s mail.

Article 7.2 of FIH rules cited in the letter says the president shall within 30 days of election retire from any executive office or post in the national or continental bodies. Batra, elected to FIH in November, stepped down as HI president in December 2016. Mittal said “Batra was a representative on behalf of Hockey India in the December 2017 elections of IOA and voted as a representative on behalf of Hockey India.”

Batra and Mittal are both in home quarantine due to Covid-19.

Like any other sector, amid Covid19 Indian sports has come to complete standstill. The preparations of the Indian athletes have taken a huge hit due to Covid19. At the time when the country’s biggest sporting body should have been busy creating the roadmap of revival, the ugly sparring with-in IOA will further peg the Indian sports back.