Politicization of sports in India

How to run sporting federations: Politicization of sports in India

Every nation has a government presiding over it. One saddled with the responsibility of running the various sectors of the country for the benefit of its citizens and the nation at large. On a larger scale, to the global village. One of such is the sporting sector’. Ranked as top mainstream activity in a country’s economy, and just like every other sector in a nation, it fosters growth and development, brings about economic stability, sustainable revenue, and fosters both local and international friendliness. However, these days, the story seems to be different and the purpose that led to the rise of the sporting industry all over the globe is being defeated. Sadly, this development is across several nations of the world today, with India at the very forefront. See recommended sportsbooks in India. Currently in India, the sporting federation now looks to be a shadow of itself, and being the home and bedrock to sporting activities across the world today, makes you want to answer some questions. To know what exactly went wrong. Unfortunately, the answer is not far-fetched.

The politicization of sports in India

Just recently, a sports marketing company, Baseline Ventures, got the better of the Volleyball Federation of India in a match. Afterward, the VFI was then instructed to remit a sum of Rs 4 crore and interests to serve as damages and legal fees. This was because the body was accused of wrongfully terminating a 10-year contract for the Pro Volley Ball League, an accusation you wouldn’t call a smart decision for the body. Unfortunately, it opened a lot of eyes to see the inadequacies of the sporting federation of India, which is a replica of a lot of other federations across the world. What more could you expect from an industry run by the politicians and bureaucrats and not by the professionals?

Currently, the sporting federation of India is experiencing a setback it shouldn’t be going through because the administration has come to fall into the hands of those who know little or nothing about the industry. Sports analysts in the Indian sporting industry have noted that it is needed that the federation is run by experienced folks in the industry if it must get the change it needs. To buttress this, Yashwanth Biyyala, director of Baseline Ventures of India Pvt Ltd, said “it is no news that politicians and bureaucrats have run the sporting sector for a while now, but despite their standard of administration, having a sports professional present in the governing body helps to make decisions better and understand the needs of the athletes”.

Way Forward

We may want to argue that politics have found a way to co-exist with sports at the international level, but we have also seen the adverse results of the ‘co-existence’ on a rather large scale than expected (taking cues from nations like South Africa, Brazil, and Germany). If the Indian sporting federation is to be revived, then some of the following measures need to be put in place effectively.

  1. First off, it is highly essential that the Indian sports federation make it mandatory for office bearers to have a certain level of experience worthy of the office before holding it. There should have been at least a minimum of a 10-year experience in the industry, either as a player (preferably in the specific category of the sports), coach, or an administrator. It should be ensured that no political office holder is immune to this policy and should therefore check all qualification boxes, either before election or appointment to any office in the industry.
  2. On the flip side, if the sports federation intends to reform the level of politicization, sports professionals should be encouraged to take on positions and not keep leaving it into the hands of the politicians to run. Sports analysts prove that while this might not be entirely possible, it is still a very key path to ensuring transparency, accountability, and development to a very great extent.
  3. Sporting federations are expected to be run with sports marketing companies to look after the revenue and business aspects of the sporting industry. Again, this looks like walking on eggshells when it comes to being independent of politicization, but it shouldn’t be a dead-end either. This is because the sporting marketing organizations have been trained to skillfully make money for the federation via sponsorship. Hence, the reason why they should be granted autonomy of their jobs.
  4. Sportsmanship needs to be strictly based on talent, zeal, and merit. This is a major reformation point that targets both professionals and politicians. In this context, politicization then is like a pendulum swinging to both sides. If the sporting federation of Indian is to be run effectively, then sportsmanship needs to be free and fair.

Final Verdict

Truthfully, the governing body of a sports industry should involve both the nation’s administrative leaders and sporting professionals. The industry needs both parties if it must thrive in the nation, but the latter should be given more direct involvement than the latter if the maximum potential of the federation is to be achieved.

 

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