Indian Olympic Association warns Equestrian Federation of India of sanctions

In a communique to the EFI president, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta has expressed its disagreement going ahead with elections despite not complying with the NSDC.

IOA secretary General Rajeev Mehta (right) has categorically expressed its disagreement to the Equestrian Federation of India going ahead with elections.   -  PTI

The Indian Olympic Association seems to have finally taken note of the EFI’s blatant disregard for government guidelines in its forthcoming elections to the Executive Committee scheduled for September 29.

In a communique to the Equestrian Federation of India president Lt. Gen. R. Gopal, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta has categorically expressed its disagreement to the federation going ahead with elections, notified earlier this month, despite not complying with the National Sports Development Code 2011.

“...it was unanimously decided (during the IOA AGM in December) that EFI would henceforth continue to be a member of the IOA without voting rights until there are corrective actions in governance. If EFI proceeds with elections and appointments based on the current norms, it would be liable for further sanctions,” the mail warns.

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As per the NSDC 2011, only state/UT associations can be part of the electoral college. The EFI, however, has individual members, life members and clubs on its electoral list with the election notice having no mention of any attempt at code compliance.

Quite a few state associations – including ones from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka among others – have raised objections to the EFI’s functioning and voting process and sought intervention from the sports ministry and the IOA.

Interestingly, the sports ministry had set August 3 as the deadline for code compliance as a condition for recognising the EFI but despite the federation not bothering to adhere to the same, it continues to enjoy the status of a recognised ‘priority’ sport. Earlier this month the government had also extended interim recognition to the Indian Golf Union for another 90 days despite no-compliance with the NSDC, which was also objected to by the IOA.