Power to relax provisions of Sports Code will be with government: Ministry circular

The Sports Ministry will have the power to relax provisions of the National Sports Development Code while deciding on grant of recognition to federations and the management of the Indian Olympic Association, a circular issued by the ministry has stated.

A circular issued by Joint Secretary in Sports Ministry, L Siddhartha Singh stated that the government has decided to add the relaxation clause provision in the National Sports Code 2011 to assist promotion of sports.

“Government shall have the power to relax any of the provisions of the National Sports Code of India, 2011 and other instructions issued with regard to recognition of National Sports Federations (NSFs)…,” the circular stated.

The ministry’s power to relax the sports code will cover “renewal of recognition of NSFs on annual basis and governance and management of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and NSFs, as a special exemption where considered necessary.”

The sports code has been mired in controversy with several NSFs and the IOA opposing its age and tenure cap regulations for office-bearers before finally coming around in the last couple of years.

The circular further states that the discretionary relaxation of norms would be done only “for the promotion of sports, sportspersons or to remove difficulties in giving true effect to that particular provision of the Sports Code…”

The ministry said its decisions would be “guided by and not inconsistent with the overreaching spirit of good governance and ethical conduct enshrined in the Sports Code 2011.”