Centre won't micro-manage NSFs: Sports secy

Sports secretary Rajiv Yadav said request had been made to AIBA to give India some leeway and relax the March 31 ultimatum. In the case of basketball, a ministry official had heard both factions and submitted a report which would now be examined, he said.

The new hockey turf that was inaugurated at the SAI campus in Bengaluru on Thursday. The Polygrass surface, laid at a cost of Rs 8.6 crore, is similar to the one that will be used at the Rio Olympics.   -  The Hindu

The Union sports ministry did not wish to ‘micro-manage’ National Sports Federations, said Rajiv Yadav, Secretary (Sports), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, here on Thursday. He was responding to queries over a number of national sports bodies being plagued by infighting and uncertainty still hanging over preparation for the Olympics in some cases.

“The government doesn't micro-manage a sport,” Yadav said at the Sports Authority of India here. “That is the job of the federation. The government's job is to create an environment and provide funding if it is not available otherwise. From time to time, when issues are raised, we advise the federation.”

Yadav was on the SAI campus here to inaugurate the new, blue hockey turf. The Polygrass surface, laid at a cost of Rs 8.6 crore, is similar to the one that will be used at the Rio Olympics.

Asked about the international boxing federation's (AIBA) March 31 ultimatum for India to have one elected national body in place, Yadav said: “We've asked AIBA to give them some leeway if there is a delay of a few days. The sports code prescribes certain timelines. A notice must be issued a certain number of days in advance. Otherwise, an election may not be deemed fair.”

In the case of basketball, a ministry official had heard both factions and submitted a report which would now be examined, he added.

Yadav made light of the factionalism affecting Indian sport. “We are argumentative Indians. So we enter into arguments wherever we may be, whether in a federation or in classrooms, universities or offices. It's part of the game,” he said.

Yadav shed more light on the Indian Olympic Association's request to the IOC for Indian cuisine at the Rio Olympics. “We have told the IOC president that we are ready to bear the cost of travel and stay for two Indian chefs, for the entire period in Rio,” he said. “The IOC only has to allow those Indian chefs in and allow Indian cuisine on the menu. If that doesn't work, we have a Plan B, that we hire two flats within two-three minutes' walking distance of the Games village. There we'll put our chefs and they cook. We have seen some properties already. We will also place one anti-doping specialist in the kitchen.”