Not meeting recognition criteria could put government funds at risk


Forty one sports bodies in India risk losing government’s funding and recognition if they fail to follow the norms set by the Sports Ministry by March 31.

Hours after Supreme Court’s crackdown on the BCCI on Monday, the Sports Ministry shot off letters to 41 sports federations, including the already-suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA), warning them that their recognition would be reviewed if they don’t comply with the ‘good governance’ guidelines laid down by the government, according to the Indian Express.

According to the letter, only seven of the 48 federations have towed the Ministry line so far. Hockey India, Cycling Federation of India and Table Tennis Federation of India are the only Olympic disciplines that have met the deadlines. The other federations in clear are the All India Chess Federation, Amateur Soft Tennis Federation of India, Indian Body Builders Federation and Karate Association of India.

“The remaining 41 NSFs either do not have their own websites or have not hosted complete information on their websites as per the instruction of the Ministry on suo-moto disclosure. These NSFs are directed to do the needful by 31st March, 2017, failing which, their annual recognition for 2017 will be reviewed,” the ministry’s letter, dated January 2, read.

A Ministry official said all sports federations which receive annual funding of more than Rs 10 lakh (nearly US$14,000) fall under the RTI Act, which makes it mandatory for them to make suo-moto disclosures of their day-to-day operations on their website.

The information that the federations have been ordered to furnish includes: details of the chief information officer for RTI-related queries, name and contact details of office bearers, audited accounts for last three financial years, constitution of the federation, details of national championships, annual calendar of national and zonal events, details of international tournaments in India and abroad, action taken to prevent age fraud and doping and revenue generated by the federation.

The ministry decided to demand full disclosure from the federations following a Delhi High Court order dated December 24, 2014, in which it pulled up the Badminton Association of India for not furnishing details under the Right to Information Act.

The order stated that the government should examine the manner in which the federations are functioning.