Indian sporting federations: Caught between a rock and a hard place

Imagine not seeing the tricolor flutter majestically and not standing still to hum the jana gana mana (and not fighting back that tear) when Neeraj Chopra threw the javelin 87.58 meters for this golden one about a year ago Performance in Tokyo threw!

This beautiful timeline might not have happened if the sports association had been banned. Just ask our friends the Russians. Their men’s team won gold and silver in the 100m backstroke at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but were not allowed to compete under their country’s flag because the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended by its parent organization, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) , for widespread doping.

The International Football Association (FIFA) on Tuesday suspended its Indian offspring – the All India Football Federation (AIFF) – over “third-party interference”, threatening October’s U17 Women’s World Cup in India. Another sports body – the Indian Olympic Association – could be next after the Delhi High Court on Tuesday appointed a three-man Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run the show and make changes to its constitution based on the National Sports Code of 2011 (NSK).

Yet another, Hockey India, has a lifeline until October 9 to hold elections. That’s what its umbrella organization, the Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH), and, yes, another CoA agreed, they issued a joint statement on Wednesday.

Interestingly, the behavior of another CoA (appointed by the Supreme Court to manage the affairs of the AIFF on May 19, 2022) has been criticized by FIFA as a CoA is formed for the IOA.

It all started when on May 18 the Supreme Court relieved the AIFF’s then-President, former Aviation Minister Praful Patel, and his Executive Committee of their duties and formed a CoA consisting of former SC judge Anil R. Dave, the former chief, consisted election commissioner SY Quraishi and former Indian soccer captain Bhaskar Ganguly. The SC stated that under NSC rules, Patel had completed his maximum tenure of 12 years at the helm and should leave office.

As part of its mandate, the CoA made changes to the AIFF bylaws – one of which was appointing an electoral college made up of 36 top-flight players (24 male and 12 female) and one member from each of the 36 football associations across the country to implement it of elections to govern the body.

While FIFA agreed to have 18 players in college, it later suspended its Indian arm and made it clear that the world governing body has a red card for anyone else running the Beautiful Game. All football activities of any kind are therefore suspended in the country. Indian footballers cannot participate in international tournaments, international transfers of players – to and from India – are not allowed. The SC’s hearing in the case scheduled for Wednesday has been adjourned until August 22.


Meanwhile, the IOA is also staring at another suspension within 10 years (it was suspended in December 2012 for failing to follow the Olympic Charter during the electoral process) after the IOC warned the Indian body on July 20 that its hold elections every four years. within weeks”, otherwise “suspension” could be one of the options. The Delhi HC-appointed CoA, which has two members who are also part of the SC-appointed CoA for AIFF, has cut its role.


Recent Indian sporting history, apart from the sportsman bringing fame, has been riddled with controversy, particularly on the administrative front.

The Indian Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) was suspended in 2012 by its umbrella organization – the International Amateur Boxing Federation (AIBF) – for “election rigging”. Later, in 2013, the body was dissolved and Boxing India (BI) came into existence in 2014. It was later recognized by the world body. This July, due to power struggles, the AIBF suspended BI and the sport in India is currently governed by an ad hoc organization. The defunct AIBA, along with the ad hoc body, recently asked the AIBF to recognize them.


In 2019, the World Archery Federation suspended India after two bodies were elected to govern the game in the country. In early 2020, the suspension was lifted with conditions following the conclusion of the Archery Association of India elections.


In tense moments, India switches to cricket for relaxation. But again, a CoA was set up due to concerns about the functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

It was triggered by a match-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League in 2013. Two teams, the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, have been banned for two years. There was a longing for change, for cleaning up.

The SC took action and appointed a CoA after a committee led by former SC judge RM Lodha made its recommendations on how to run the BCCI. The CoA, consisting of former Comptroller and Comptroller General of India Vinod Rai, former Indian cricket captain Diana Edulji, historian Ramachadran Guha and Vikram Limaye, then Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of IDFC, had to implement the proposals of the Justice Lodha Committee .

This came after the SC ended the term of office of then-BCCI President and Union Minister Anurag Thakur for failing to implement the changes.

The 33-month tenure of the Rai-led CoA came to an end in 2019 when the BCCI held successful elections that elected Saurav Ganguly as Union President and Home Secretary and Jay Shah, the son of former Gujarat Cricket Association President Amit Shah the office took over secretary.

When the dust settled, Arun Dhumal, brother of Anurag, was elected head of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. Avishek Dalmiya – son of former BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya – was elected Secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal and Rupa Gurunath – daughter of former BCCI President N Srinivasan – took over as President of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.

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