World Archery Federation (WA) has said to it would be prudent to wait for the decision of the Supreme Court on the elections of the Archery Association of India (AAI) before its Executive Board can validate it. However, AAI is not under the threat of being disaffiliated by WA as the world body considers it to be in good standing and Indian archers can compete internationally.
In a letter to BVP Rao, who was elected AAI president in the meeting held under the ‘new’ constitution, WA Secretary-General Tom Dielen has flagged the lack of archer’s affiliation process. “The fact that there is no clear provision could put the whole Indian Archery Federation in a very delicate position in disciplinary, eligibility and other matters,” he wrote.
He also raised doubts about the manner in which the ‘new’ constitution excludes anyone with conflict of interest rather than provide for the procedures to declare and act on perceived conflict of interests.
“The danger with that solution (as provided by Delhi High Court-appointed administrator SY Quraishi) is that competent people could be excluded which could be involved with a proper handling of conflicts of interests and respecting all principles of good governance,” he wrote.
He also attempts to pre-empt the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from setting up an ad hoc committee to oversee AAI’s day-to-day affairs. In fact, Dielen cites inputs from the new Secretary (Sports) Radhey Shyam Julania to further this argument.
“In the interest of the athletes and knowing we are very close to the selection procedures for the World Archery Championships, and especially based on the input of the Secretary of Sports, H.E. Radhey Shyam Julaniya, World Archery is clear that the creation of any temporary or ad hoc committee would only lead to confusion…,” he wrote.
There is no doubt that the IOA will not take any rash action as it has decided to await developments the Supreme Court order in the case. As things stand, the Court last asked the Ministry to list the deviations in the AAI constitution as amended by Quraishi from the Ministry’s National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.
Dielen’s letter suggests Rao asked WA for inputs on the AAI constitution (as amended by Quraishi). It would appear that such an attempt was not made to ask the IOA and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports by either the Administrator before the constitution was enforced or Rao after the December elections.
Dielen also appears to have taken suo motu notice of the Administrator’s decision not to resolve issues around the affiliation of the Telangana Archery Association. It is unusual for a World body to write to a national federation about it not addressing a State association’s membership with alacrity.
This piece was first published in Mail Today on March 1, 2019