The government wants an agreement with the Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations on the contentious Sports Code before having a joint meeting with the International Olympic Committee next month, Sports Secretary P K Deb said on Saturday.
Deb said that an agreement on the age and tenure guidelines under the Sports Code was required for any fruitful discussion with the IOC to pave way for India’s return into the Olympic movement.
“We welcomed the IOC’s proposal for a joint meeting on May 7 at Lausanne. We have been trying for such a meeting for four months so that the we can have a discussion with the IOC. But we need an agreement with the IOA and NSFs on the Sports Code before the meeting,” he said.
Deb said that the IOA and the NSFs don’t need to amend their constitutions to incorporate the provisions of the Sports Code but require an agreement on some contentious clauses before the joint meeting.
“It is not possible for the IOA to amend its constitution and incorporate Sports Code before the joint meeting. We are not saying that. But we need to go to the joint meeting with an agreement among the Ministry, the IOA and NSFs,” he said.
“If we say that the Sports Code should be incorporated by the IOA before the meeting, the IOC will not agree to that. We have to start the discussion with the IOC and the amendments can be made in the constitution of the IOA later on. We have no problems with that,” the Sports Secretary said.
Deb said that all the NSFs, barring Archery Association of India, have accepted the Sports Code in writing.
“53 out of 54 NSFs have accepted the Sports Code in writing. Only Archery Association of India remains, along with the IOA. So basically we have got acceptance of the Sports Code from almost all the NSFs.”
The IOC has again invited representatives of suspended IOA and Sports Ministry for a meeting in Lausanne on May 7 in yet another attempt to find a way for India’s return to the Olympic movement even as the stand-off between the government and sport body persisted.
After the joint meeting, which was earlier scheduled to be held in Lausanne on April 15 and 16, was postponed for the second time in two months last week due to the stand-off between the IOA and the government, the Indian Olympic Association acting chief V K Malhotra had sought directions from its world parent body on how to resolve the matter.
Responding to Malhotra’s request, IOC’s National Olympic Committee relations director Pere Miro, in his letter to IOA said, “It is very surprising that you request our guidance as to what action you should take since we have made it clear since January this year that the only way to find a solution is for all parties to meet, discuss and agree on a roadmap.
“For that purpose we invited you to a meeting in Lausanne and proposed concrete dates. However, you did not reply to our invitation.
“Now we hereby call for a meeting to be held on 7 May 2013 in Lausanne,” he wrote.
The IOC also requested the IOA to confirm its attendance by April 16. The IOC also wrote a separate letter to the Sports Minister inviting him for the joint meeting and asking him to confirm his attendance by April 16 at the latest.