Sports Ministry files application in Delhi HC to restore recognition of 57 NSFs

The Sports Ministry on Tuesday filed an application in the Delhi High Court to allow it to restore the provisional recognitions of 57 National Sports Federations (NSF). Apart from the 54 NSF who were granted recognition until September this year earlier in the month and was later withdrawn due to the court’s order, the ministry also asked for the restoration of recognition of the Indian Golf Union (IGU), the School Games Federation of India and the Rowing Federation of India.

“Respondent No.1/MYAS is filing instant application seeking consent of the Hon’ble court to give provisional annual recognition for 2020 to concerned 54 NSFs and to revoke/restore the suspended/witheld government recognition of 3 NSFs… and consequently to give provisional annual recognition for 2020 till 30.09.2020 in view of the extra ordinary circumstances prevailing due to COVID-19.

“It is respectfully submitted that the non-renewal of annual recognition of the NSFs is detrimental to the overall development of the Sports especially of the Athlete/Sportspersons who are otherwise presently demoralized due to COVID-19 since all training and competitions were put on hold.”

The court had earlier on June 24 pointed out that the ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) were to “inform the court in advance” while taking “any decision in relation to the NSFs” according to an order it had passed on February 7. Subsequently, the ministry revoked the annual recognition it had provided to 54 NSFs earlier in the month the next day.

IOA President Narinder Batra said that he hopes the matter is dealt with swiftly and that a situation such as this might prove detrimental to India’s hopes of making a mark at the Olympics.

“This can even lead to de-recognition. If any NSF says to its International Federation that we are not able to do anything because IOA is not giving any permission. The IOA will then say that we have to take approval from the court as do the ministry then it could come to government interference in the autonomous working of sports bodies and we will get suspended.

“As citizens of India we have to follow and respect the orders of the court and we will do it. And if that means not winning any medal at the Olympics so be it, what can we do now,” said Batra.