In an effort to manage a consensus among sports administrators of different factions before the crucial meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on May 15,the Sports Ministry met the officials from the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in New Delhi on Monday.
A 20-member delegation,led by president of the suspended IOA Abhay Singh Chautala,attended the meeting which resulted in several positive developments according to a ministry official. Tainted sports administrator Lalit Bhanot,who was elected secretary general in the IOA elections held in December,and Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra were also present at the meeting,which lasted for nearly two hours.
This meeting is important since IOC does not recognise the Chautala-led IOA committee after it conducted the elections despite being repeatedly warned by the world governing body. According to IOC,the elections werent held in accordance with the Olympic Charter.
The IOA is yet to adopt the government-proposed Sports Code,which has stalled talks between the two parties. Following the meeting on Monday,though,the officials were confident that a solution would soon be reached over the contentious issue. It was a positive meeting. There were representatives from 20 associations and all of them came with a fairly clear mandate. We have ironed out several differences and can now take a united front when we meet the IOC next month, a ministry official said. Even Bhanot acknowledged that there were several positives to take from the meeting but refused to divulge further details.
It is learnt that among a few key points,the government is willing to soften its stand on the age and tenure issue. The ministry is likely to bring it in accordance with every federations parent body instead of the proposed uniform rule of 70 years (for eg. if International Field Archery Association sets the age limit to 65 years,then Archery Association of India will have to comply to that).