Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Big Picture- Lodha Panel Recommendations: Can They Apply To All Sports Bodies?

 

 


The Big Picture- Lodha Panel Recommendations: Can They Apply To All Sports Bodies?


 

After India finishing 67th in the medal tally at Rio Olympics, it has been proved that there is a severe lack of “Sporting Culture” in our country though our sportspersons gave the best of their efforts. A sport is seen broadly as a pastime and not something that needs to be encouraged on a professional level. Time and again, there have been several discussions regarding reforms in various bodies related with sports. The Lodha Panel even recommended a set of reform measures for BCCI but it showed great reluctance to accept those guidelines.

Some of the major recommendations of Lodha Panel Recommendations are as follows:

  • BCCI should come under the RTI Act and legalization of betting though it is for Parliament to decide.
  • No proxy voting for individuals and one person should represent one vote.
  • There should be a players association in the BCCI and the funding of players’ association while leaving it to the Board to decide the extent of funding.
  • One person should hold one post in cricket administration to avoid any conflict of interest.
  • A BCCI office-bearer cannot be a Minister or a government servant and there should be a cap on the age and tenure of the office-bearers.
  • The apex body should have two representatives as sportspersons i.e. one male and one female.

Can these guidelines be applied to all Sports Bodies?

Most of these recommendations are not acceptable to BCCI for obvious reasons. There is a lot of money involved in cricket and if these recommendations are implemented, the higher authorities might have to lose their position, privileges, rights and power. It will definitely bring more transparency in the functioning of BCCI. This resistance has come from non-sportspersons who are actually legislators of our country.

Application of these recommendations in other sports appears to be a far-fetched goal. It is highly unlikely that the guidelines would be accepted in other sports. At present there is full anonymity about how these boards or federations function and the criteria for selection of the members. Members of these federations hardly know anything about the technical or other significant aspects of sports. Regionalism prevails at a large scale.

Possible steps that should be taken:

  • There should be more involvement of sportspersons in these bodies. Specialized persons for specialized portfolios should be selected or recommended. For example- Sports Minister can be a person who is associated with a sport and can understand the requirements in this area. Seasoned sportspersons can be consulted for suggestions on ways of improvement. Unfortunately, in India, Sports Ministry is handed over to a person who has no choice of portfolio left with in the Cabinet.
  • There should be changes at the central level in the administration of sports which might trickle down to state level associations. There can be an “Independent Sports Regulator” in India who can be
  • Private investment in sports is something which if provided can help in improvement of infrastructure for various sports. It is commonly seen that money flows in for those sports which are internationally followed like cricket, tennis or football. Some of the less followed sports like badminton or athletics can be encouraged this way.
  • More people like P.Gopichand need to be encouraged and provided financial assistance by the government as it would help in training and nurturing the upcoming talents of India.

Sport is something directly proportional to the national pride of a country. India may not have fared well this time but the need is to brace ourselves up and take a step towards improvement in sports and take this matter seriously.