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The National Sports Code – Why Is It Making Sports News Headlines?

By Author: Praveen Kumar
Total Articles: 2

The National Sports Code has been in the pipeline for several years now. From time to time, mentions of the code make sports news headlines, only to subside and recede from public memory. We look at some history relating to the national sports code, its provisions, why it is once again in the sports news and also at some of the sports controversies it seems to have stirred up.

The National Sports Code

The sports code was drafted in 2011 for stated purposes of promoting sports and active lifestyles, increasing social inclusiveness and employment opportunities etc. In practice, the code focused on regulating elections of various sports bodies, make funding transparent and accountable and bring these bodies within the ambit of RTI.

In 2017, current sports news headlines reported that the code was to undergo a major overhaul following the Lodha Committee recommendations. Top Indian athletes such as Abhinva Bindra, Prakash Padukone and Anju Bobby George, sports officials and prominent citizens were charged with making recommendations for good governance in sports. This was seen as a significant and forward looking sports update for the country were political interference, mismanagement and nepotism are widely seen to thwart sporting talent and potential. The updated code’s provisions barring politicians and bureaucrats and their close relatives from being board members or officials of national sports associations or the national Olympic committee may be the real game changer according to sports news reporters and analysts.

Sports controversies relating to the code

Cricket is the richest and most popular game in the country but is beset with one after another sport scam relating to financial mismanagement, corruption, allegations of match mixing, appointments, elections and more. As such the sports ministry is keen to bring the sport’s governing body, the BCCI within the ambit of the code. However BCCI has been evasive about the question of being included within the purview of the code so far.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has recently ratcheted up requirement for compliance to the code. According to recent sports news, the minister has addressed a ‘strongly worded letter’ to all the states and union territories, asking for enforcement of the code. Recent sports updates also indicate that the Indian Golf Union has incorporated the provisions of the code following demands of the sports ministry. However this seems to have done under some duress when the sports ministry withheld recognition of the union.

One of the main reasons that there have been so many rumblings with regard to the sports code is the fact that sports is a state subject and the code is seen to be an attempt to concentrate power in the hands of the central government to the detriment of regional governing bodies. According to recent sports updates, sport commentators and experts have also criticized the code for the proposed tenure of 20 years vis-à-vis 12 years for certain posts. Concerns about political interference remain. IOA president Narinder Batra seems to differ with the ministry on the matter, which is another matter for concern.

The latest sports news about the sports code and further developments will be interesting to watch as and when they unfold in times to come.

More About the Author

Hi, I am Praveen Kumar working with Power Sportz as an SEO Manager. Power Sportz is India’s first digital sports news channel. A veritable one-stop shop, offering a glut of information containing news, scores, live updates, events, launches, debates and analysis, it has everything that has to do with sports.

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