Dec 11, 2012 at 06:04pm IST

Hold new elections, Sports Ministry tells AFI

New Delhi: The Sports Ministry has given an ultimatum to under-fire Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to either hold new elections within 60 days or be prepared to get sanctioned by the ministry.

The elections held by the AFI in April were found to have violated three clauses of the National Sports Code. The Ministry had set aside the appointment of the president, secretary and treasurer of the AFI and asked the body to amend its constitution and conduct elections once again.

During that election, the AFI had allegedly violated three clauses of the sports code: First- there was no Electoral College until the nominations were filed, raising questions about the candidates themselves. Secondly, the AFI rule book had been changed to accommodate a clause that stated that to be a member of the current executive an official had to be a member of the previous executive. Thus making the election process undemocratic and exclusive to only a privileged few, and the third, while the sports code allowed one proposer and one seconder to help any candidate file his nomination, the athletics body had its own rule asking for three proposers and three seconders per nomination.

The de-recognition means Indian athletes will not be able to avail government funds for training or for participation in international events. Neither will they be able to use all those sporting facilities that fall under the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

When asked about the concerned athletes' future if the Ministry goes ahead with its decision to derecognise the body, the sports minister Jitendra Singh clarified that the players could still represent the country in international events as the their parent body had recognised the elections.

"It is not a setback for the athletes because they can at least go out and participate in the international events," Singh was quoted as saying, "International body recognises the AFI and its elections."