AIFF President Patel, Former Olympian Bindra Slam IOA On Chargesheet Issue
Union Minister and All India Football Federation President Praful Patel said Tuesday that the involvement of chargesheeted persons in the affairs of the Indian Olympic Association has brought "a messy situation" in Indian sports and tarnished the image of national federation, according to the PTI. Patel said that the Sports Ministry "should step in and try to find a solution to get out of the situation which has shown all the sports administrators in the country in poor light." Patel: "The IOA has made a mess of Indian sports. Because of a few people, all other sports administrators in the country are also seen like them. The image of other sports federations has been tarnished" (PTI, 8/27). The PTI also reported Olympic Gold Medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra on Tuesday "lashed out at IOA officials" for refusing to accept the IOC's directive. IOA's Special General Body Meeting on Sunday "had sought to dilute the chargesheet clause by proposing to apply the sanction to only those who are convicted and sentenced to a jail term of more than two years." Bindra: "If they (IOA officials) had thought of Indian sports and its athletes, they they should have accepted the IOC's conditions so that India can get back into the Olympic fold. But they will not do that. I asked the IOC not to back out and stick to their stand. It's very important for the development of Indian sports and for athletes." Bindra said that "the IOA's decision to dilute the chargesheet clause was a disappointment but not a surprise." Bindra: "I am disappointed but not surprised by what the IOA GBM had done. What do you expect from a meeting whose more than 50 percent members have charges framed against them in a court?" (PTI, 8/27). In Mumbai, Siddharth Saxena wrote "India's return to the Olympic fold seems to have been severely compromised by the IOA." The IOA's "brazen methods" at ensuring that its tainted administrators do not ever leave office, has met with widespread criticism from all quarters and it is being felt that the IOC will not accept its amendments "because the clauses proposed by the world body were roundly snubbed by India's sports officials" (TIMES OF INDIA, 8/27).