‘Does Pakistan have control over its forces? With the situation there, I don’t see an immediate stop to such incidents’
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Sandeep Dwivedi: What is your view of the sports code in the proposed Sports Bill and how logical is it to fully implement it? There is considerable mistrust between the ministry and the federations.
Jitendra Singh: I'll start with the sports associations and federations. There has been some conflict with the sports federations, associations in the past. When I took over, I tried to reach out to them. Some federations are doing an excellent job, some aren't working at all. The federations are very important because the job of a federation is to identify talent. It has the structures. There are district bodies, state bodies, national bodies and they are associated at the international level also. They identify talent. The government is funding them. But I see a weakness in most associations in that they have no connect at the district level. That's where the deficiency is. A person may be a very good hockey player in some village but he'll have almost no chance of being identified. Sport in this country is not a career option. Each federation is running its own little empire and that too very differently from the others. There is no similarity or best practices in associations. I'm coming up with my 10 year plan up to 2020. It's very important that the federations run in a professional manner. The problem is that the only mandate we have is to stop funding a federation. If their players want to go out or play in matches being organised in India, you can't block them. Some federations and associations are very wealthy so you can't do anything with them. A lot has been said about the proposed Sports Bill but there is nothing that the federations shouldn't accept about the sports code. All it says is the tenure should be limited—which I feel is a fair thing. You need to bring in young people. You need to bring in sportspersons—up to 25 per cent of sportspersons should be in those associations.
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