Indian government rejects new sports bill

Thursday, 1 September 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

NEW DELHI, (AFP): A controversial proposal that sought to regulate India’s cricket board and other national sports bodies was Tuesday rejected by the government, local media reported.

The proposal, which aimed to bring the sports bodies under federal transparency and accountability laws, was proposed by Sports Minister Ajay Maken.

But the cabinet rejected the bill and asked Maken to come back with a new version, the national NDTV channel reported.

The bill sought to reserve at least 25 percent of federation posts for former players and puts an upper age limit of 70 on all administrators.

Another important provision of the bill was to bring the federations under the ambit of the Right to Information Act (RTI), a landmark law that allows members of the public to seek details of the working of public bodies.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has traditionally been outside the government’s purview and, unlike other national sports federations, does not receive state funding.

“Only organisations taking a grant from the government can come under the RTI, and the BCCI doesn’t receive government grants,” board spokesperson Rajeev Shukla was quoted as saying on Zee News.

Sports administration in India has been at the centre of several controversies over the past couple of years.

The shambles surrounding the 2010 Commonwealth Games made headlines and eventually led to the imprisonment of its main organiser, Suresh Kalmadi, pending trial.

The popular Indian Premier League, following last year’s dramatic exit of its chairman Lalit Modi, has been the focus of several investigations over allegations of financial irregularities.