NEW DELHI, April 18: Undesirable conduct of individuals should not come in the way of institutional cooperation, said Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday, trying to defuse the tension after the IOA complained of ministry interference in national federations and drew sharp criticism from the sports secretary.
Rijiju said Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra had brought to his notice, recent reports of concerns raised by some National Sports Federations (NSFs) that the Ministry and the Sports Authority of India were trying to seize control of their functioning.
�Regular consultation and discussion among the stakeholders at various levels must be smooth but undesirable conduct by individuals at any circumstances should not dampen our cooperation and spirit...,� the Minister stated.
Sports Secretary Radheshyam Julaniya had responded quite sharply to the NSFs� allegations by stating that they should give up facilities provided by the government before complaining about interference.
�...any remark made by individuals at certain situation should not be treated as a matter of policy. We are determined to work together to realise the dream of making India a sports superpower,� said Rijiju.
Batra had alleged that Sports Authority of India�s TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) CEO Rajesh Rajagopalan was interfering in the functioning of federations.
The Minister, however, said the government has no such intention.
�...the autonomous functioning of the National Sports Federations must be maintained at any cost. Adherence to National Sports Code and Good Governance in NSFs are cornerstones of transparency and fairness in all its conducts,� he said.
�Govt is committed to provide necessary support to NSFs for the promotion of sports and to ensure the well-being of our athletes is not compromised,� the minister added.
Rijiju said the common goal of the Sports Ministry, IOA and the NSFs should be to work towards improving the overall sports ecosystem of the country with focus on identifying and nurturing talent. � PTI