It was good tidings for Indian motor sport as two warring groups, the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and the Motorsports Association of India (MAI) buried their four-year-old differences at the General Assembly of the Federation Internationale de Automobile (FIA), the world governing body for the sport.
The two Indian federations reached the beginnings of a settlement in Paris at the FIA General Assembly on Thursday and a formal agreement between them will be executed shortly after a few technical formalities are sorted out by their general council members.
While FMSCI president Vicky Chandhok and his council members were tight-lipped about the whole episode, P S Raman, counsel for FMSCI, said, "In effect the contents of the MAI statement is correct that FMSCI has to run its events on permit and license by the MAI, if FMSCI is to conduct events under FIA code."
Raman explained that "competitions for four-wheelers organised by FMSCI in any part of India will be held with joint logo in the permits and licenses by both these federations". He said, "There has been a handshake. FIA has advised the FMSCI to adhere to the understanding and asked MAI to cooperate with the FMSCI."
Raman said FIA president Max Mosely announced at the meeting that "there has been a handshake between FMSCI and MAI and terms of working by them have also been agreed upon. It will be formulated in a form of a contract between the parties shortly. In view of this, the proposal to expel FMSCI from the FIA has been deferred by one year. The FMSCI is advised to adhere to the understanding and MAI will cooperate with FMSCI".
It may be recalled that FIA issued a show cause notice to FMSCI in February this year and heard its explanation in April, at a meeting in Paris. Two of the major charges of FIA were that FMSCI was going to court and involving all concerned in litigation and interfering with the smooth conduct of activity by the MAI, thereby interfering with FIA itself.
The first charge was dropped since FIA statutes have been amended to give any FIA member the democratic rights to approach their national courts of law for redress of their grievances. As for the second major charge, FIA felt that FMSCI was interfering with the functioning of MAI, its 'ASN' in India, and hence proposed resolution for its expulsion unless a settlement was reached between the parties before June.
It may be pointed out that the Government of India has not yet recognised the FIA's decision in making MAI its "ASN" which has put competitors in a fix.
Also, the stand-off between the Government of India and FIA played a part in the conduct of motor sport events in India.
It was agreed between the parties at the April meeting in Paris that a consensus should be reached before June and the same be reported to the FIA, so that the notice for a World Council meeting does not include expulsion of FMSCI as part of the agenda. Although the deadline could not be adhered to, the two parties arrived at an understanding before they attended the Paris meeting last Thursday and the FIA World Council members were also informed accordingly, Raman said.
These Federations will be signing a contract shortly before giving their submissions before the Delhi high court for an out of court settlement.