The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) wants the Sports Ministry to extend the deadline for submission of response to a questionnaire seeking age and tenure details of national sports federations’ (NSF) office-bearers, which is crucial to a case pending on the NSFs recognition in the Delhi High Court.
The ministry has asked the 57 NSFs, which had their provisional recognition withdrawn on the instructions of the HC for violation of the National Sports Code’s age and tenure guidelines, to reply to the questionnaire by August 11.
The next hearing on the matter is on August 21.
The IOA, however, wants more time to be given to the NSFs as they are working with depleted staff due to COVID-19 pandemic. The IOA wants a meeting with sports minister Kiren Rijiju to discuss the matter.
“This is a sensitive issue and we all need to take a united stand as many issues raised in the questionnaire are not part of the sports code. This is now an ongoing issue in Delhi High Court and we need to be careful,” the IOA said.
“We suggest that immediately all NSFs ask for four-weeks’ time to reply since most NSFs’ office staff are not on duty due to COVID-19,” IOA president Narinder Batra and secretary general Rajeev Mehta said in a joint statement.
The duo will have a meeting on Monday and seek time from Rijiju to meet him to discuss the matter.
“The president and secretary general are meeting on Monday, 10th August, to discuss this issue and will seek time to meet with the hon’ble minister and secretary sports,” the statement added.
The Delhi High Court had turned down the petition moved by the Sports Ministry seeking modification of its February 7 order, which had barred the Centre and the IOA from taking any decision regarding the NSFs without informing it.
On June 24, the High Court had directed the ministry to revoke the recognition it had granted to the NSFs on May 11, which the government complied with.