The percentage of India’s population to the world population is 17.5%. Despite being the second most populous country in the world, India’s contribution to the medal tally is way behind its capabilities. Due to the unprecedented corruption and apathy of the successive governments, except for cricket, India’s global stature in sports remained low. However, the special push of the Modi government toward Indian sports seems to have completely revolutionized the scenario.
FIFA Lift the Suspension From AIFF
On Saturday, 27 August 2022, the Bureau of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Council announced the lifting of the suspension that was imposed on the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF).
In its ban revocation statement, FIFA said, “The decision was taken after FIFA received confirmation that the mandate of the committee of administrators that was set up to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee had been terminated and that the AIFF administration had regained full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs. FIFA and the AFC will continue to monitor the situation and will support the AIFF in organizing its elections in a timely manner”.
Ban For Third Party Interference
The international football association also announced that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled to take place on 11-30 October 2022 will be held in India as planned.
It is pertinent to note that last week the global governing body of football suspended the All India Football Federation from its organization for undue interference by a third party. After removing Praful Patel and his executive committee, the AIFF was run by the Supreme Court-appointed three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA). FIFA considers the appointment of CoA a third-party interference and violation of its statutes, which provide for the independent functioning of the country’s respective football body.
Consequently, FIFA suspended AIFF and stalled the scheduled FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, which was to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022.
Indian Sports Revolution Will Reach Its Dominant Position
Taking instant cognizance of the matter, the Ministry of Sports agreed to fulfill their demand. The Supreme Court-appointed CoA has been terminated and the AIFF administration has taken full control of the organization’s daily affairs.
The instant reaction from the government not only helped AIFF to revive its FIFA membership but also saved FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 which is scheduled in October this year.
It is the commitment of the government that has given new energy to Indian Sports. Since coming to power, PM Modi has personally taken much interest in every global sports event. He regularly interacts with sportspersons and motivates them to give their best in their field. Moreover, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports aligning with Modi’s personal attachment has also exponentially changed sports governance and management in the country.
Under the National Sports Policy, 2014, MYAS promoted the development of adequate sporting infrastructures across the country. Through the Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS) and Panchayati Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) Scheme, efficient infrastructures on local levels were laid out. Giving more teeth to the SAI Training Centre Scheme (STC) along with the Come and Play Scheme opened the gates for the renovation of SAI centers.
Similarly, to increase India’s Olympic prospects, MYAS launched the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). Under this scheme, each candidate having promising talent is provided training (including foreign), equipment, and a coaching camp among others. Besides these benefits, a monthly stipend of Rs 50,000 is being provided to them. Over the years, the government has spent Rs 1,200 crore on athletes according to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). This spending involves spending on Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC) as well. In fact, in the Tokyo Olympics, all 54 athletes were part of TOPS and the government rallied behind them, leaving no stone unturned for their success.
Similarly, to establish sports as an institutional phenomenon, MYAS advocated for opening Sports Universities. In 2018, PM Modi laid the foundation of a Central University in Imphal, Manipur. It provides a specialized degree in sports. In December last year, the Prime Minister inaugurated Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut. The infrastructure built with Rs 700 crores consists of modern and state-of-the-art sports infrastructure including synthetic Hockey ground, Football ground, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Kabaddi ground, Lawn tennis court, Gymnasium hall, Synthetic running stadium, Swimming pool, Multipurpose hall, and a Cycling Velodrome.
With the infrastructural spending and change in sports governance structure in the country, the Modi government has truly revolutionized Indian sports. The prompt action from the government in ‘The FIFA episode’ shows the seriousness of the government. Multiple times in the past, the Indian sports regulatory agencies have been suspended or banned but no government in the past had acted so promptly. The AIFF’s revocation of suspension and the government’s proactive participation shows that India is not in the mood to compromise. The nation is ready to rule the global sports events.
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