“I got elected unopposed”
Interview with newly-elected Indian Olympic Association President Abhay Chautala for Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts...
Are you president or have become derecognised?
No, I am the president.
President, but only in name?
I am not a president only in name. People have elected me. You would be happy to know that I have been elected unopposed.
You have earlier been elected unopposed in many other places earlier, but the question is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) derecognised you, are you the president even after this decision of the IOC?
They wrote a letter on the fourth, to the body that was presiding before us, stating that we are derecognising, suspending you. This is the decision of December 4. Our election was held on Dec 5. No notice has been issued to people elected on Dec 5, that we have derecognised or recognised you.
Don’t you feel that the decision to derecognise taken by IOC is correct?
Not at all, they did not listen to what we had to say, we will send a delegation from our side. When we represent our side properly they will review the decision.
IOA secretary general Bhanot is currently facing cases. Don’t you think that the credibility of the country will be affected if these kind of people come to sports organisations?
You talk about the credibility of sports bodies being affected. Tell me one thing, if FIR is filed against any big politician or industrialist or he is raided by the income tax department, when funds amounting to thousands of crores are recovered from him on which he has not paid tax return, nobody in this country says that they are doing wrong.
You are going in the wrong direction;these people don’t mess with the sports being played in the country?
The kind of mess that they create in the country.
Are you talking of industrialists?
Big industrialists, who don’t pay tax, and are let off by just recovering tax from them.
People say only one gold is won, due to the kind of people sitting on the sports bodies. In a country of 120-crore people, the politician-babu have kept such a stranglehold.
If anybody is at fault, it is the government. If government does not provide facilities to sportsperson, then from where would the medals come.
People become big in cricket, there are world champions.
But see how much money is there in cricket. The day our cricketers won the WC final they were hailed as tigers.
They are heroes in sports, that is why they get money. There is so much money internationally in football, if you develop a football team then it can yield good results. But you don’t develop teams.
The responsibility for the same is of the concerned federation. I will give you my example, people elected me as the president of boxing federation.
On his 12-year stint as boxing federation president
Before I took over boxing was in bad shape. I put up the issue before the minister and got 100 rings sanctioned, which were set up in different states. Appointed new coaches. The result was there to see after I provided all facilities to players. Now, if India’s boxer goes to any country in the world for boxing, they fear where he would get hit by our boxers’ punch and lose the match.