Close on the heels of International Paralympic Committee’s suspension of Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), the Sports Ministry on Thursday suspended the recognition of PCI with immediate effect for poor management and conduct of National Para Athletics Championships in Ghaziabad in March.
The ministry said that an inquiry conducted by Sports Authority of India (SAI) has found that the PCI has failed miserably in providing adequate facilities to the para-athletes during the March 20-22 Ghaziabad event .
The government’s action came a week after IPC, on April 15, suspended the PCI “indefinitely” for infighting and poor treatment of the para-athletes. The PCI was earlier served a show-cause notice by the ministry to explain why it should not be de-recognised for the Ghaziabad fiasco.
The ministry, in its order on Thursday, said that the PCI has not been functioning in the best interest of para-sport for which it was granted recognition, as there has been large scale dissatisfaction among players and other stakeholders and hence it has violated the terms and conditions of recognition as well as provisions of its own constitution.
“Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has suspended the recognition of PCI with immediate effect till further orders. In a communication sent to PCI, the Ministry has said that the decision has been taken in the wake of numerous serious complaints about poor management/conduct of the 15th National Para Athletics Championships 2015 held from 20th-22nd March, 2015 in Ghaziabad in all aspects viz. logistics, technical, administrative, etc,” the ministry said in a release.
An enquiry conducted by SAI has also found that the complaints were largely well-founded.
In another development, the Sports Ministry has urged the International Paralympic Committee to form an adhoc committee to work in place of PCI till a federation is granted recognition by IPC for para sports in India.
In a letter sent to IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez, the Ministry said the request is being sent with a view to seeking IPC support for the smooth functioning of the Paralympic movement in India.
“In case, any inputs are required from Govt. of India in this regard, the Government will provide the same including suggestions on formation of the adhoc committee. Alternately, IPC may authorise the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India to constitute an adhoc committee,” the letter said.
“In the interregnum, IPC may authorise Sports Authority of India (an autonomous body of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India) to send entries of the Para athletes in the country for IPC sanctioned tournaments. An early action is solicited in the best interest of development and promotion of para sports in India and to protect the interests of Indian Para athletes,” said the letter.
On April 15, the IPC suspended PCI with immediate effect stating that henceforth none of the athletes recommended by PCI will be allowed to enter in any IPC-sanctioned competition.
The PCI was recognised by Government of India in November 2011 as a National Sports Federation for promotion of sports amongst physically challenged sportspersons in the country.