New Delhi: The Archery Association of India (AAI) has got a shot in the arm after the World Archery Federation (FITA) extended recognition to its elections and extended full support to it. FITA's decision has come as a big boost as AAI was de-recognised by the Sports Ministry, who had said that the Federation did not conform to the Sports Code of the Government of India while holding its election.
FITA's Secretary General Tom Dielen, in a letter to AAI President Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said that the World Body approves of the election process and fully recognises the newly elected body of the association.
Dielen also disclosed that world archery has already informed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about this decision. "I was informed by AAI Secretary General Anil Kamineni that the Government (of India) is not accepting the outcome of the General Assembly claiming that it is not in compliance with Indian law. World Archery clearly states once more that the outcome of the general assembly is recognised by World Archery," Dielen wrote in a letter. "The constitution of the Indian Archery Association is the only document that has relevance for the conduct of the general assembly and this document was respected. We have also informed the IOC of this matter," he added.
Hailing the decision of FITA, Malhotra said it ends the uncertainty which Sports Ministry tried to create by arbitrarily and illegally de recognising the AAI. "World Archery Federation decision has vindicated our principled stand and I hope the government will also revoke its undemocratic decision. AAI's elections were very transparent, fair and democratic. There was a contest for several posts including that of President. The whole process was as per the constitution of the Association," Malhotra said in a statement.
Malhotra said with this decision there should be no confusion or ambiguity because Indian archers will continue to participate in international competitions under the tricolour. He said that the AAI and other National Sports Federations (NSF) are facing a huge dilemma. "On one hand, Sports Ministry says that there is a zero tolerance towards federations, which do not accept the Sports Code and on the other hand, IOC insists that there is a zero tolerance towards those who accept the Sports Code," said Malhotra.
He urged the government not to be rigid about the code and said the early end to this impasse will be better for the sports and sportspersons of the country. Thanking FITA for giving its unstinted support to AAI, Malhorta said all the national championships, competitions will be held as scheduled. "We will continue to abide by our international commitment," said Malhotra.