Kiren Rijiju: Government cannot dictate terms to federations on selection

The Sports Minister asks the Boxing Federation of India to resolve the selectorial controversy in the best possible manner.

Kiren Rijiju...“I will advise the federation to be transparent and take a decision which is in the interest of the nation.”   -  PTI

Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, made it clear on Saturday that the government wouldn’t interfere in selection matters. However, he has asked the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to be transparent and resolve the selection controversy in the best possible manner.

In a letter written to Rijiju, junior world champion Nikhat Zareen requested for a fair trial in the 51kg category for the Olympic qualifiers in China, after the federation went back on its previous stance and stated it would select M. C. Mary Kom directly for the event.

“We have to understand one thing, government can’t dictate the federations or get involved in the process of selection,” Rijiju said on the sidelines of the felicitation program of the Indian women’s boxing team.

‘Olympic charter is clear’

“If there are anomalies and certain things which are not in the interest of sports we make advisory suggestions. Olympic charter is clear that government shouldn’t interfere in the functioning and administration of a federation. Everybody has the freedom to seek some sort of redressal to their grievances and as a minister we have to respond positively. So I will advise the federation to be transparent and take a decision which is in the interest of the nation. But we would not get into the details of it,” he said.

Related | Mary Kom: 'I'm not scared to face Nikhat Zareen'

Commenting on the proposed National Sports Code, Rijiju said, “Yesterday I got information that court has given [a] certain direction. I have told the sports federation, ‘don’t create a situation where people go to the court.’ Like Archery Association is de-recognised, there is a problem with Gymnastic Federation. I don’t want sports bodies to face problems from IOC or their respective international federations. When we create problem, then only someone will intervene. Why should court intervene in sports matters? When the federations have groupism, fight against each other and conduct parallel elections, in that circumstance court will intervene. So let’s not create problems. I have already stated to all federations that we are coming with an appropriate sports code which will govern everybody without any issue.”

Rijiju also praised the Indian women’s boxing team that returned with four medals from the World Championships in Russia.

“We have won four medals at this boxing world championship, it will inspire others,” he said.