The Indian Sports Regulator: An idea whose time has come

On April 19, 2010 By pramitsingh Topic: Sports, Idea

Fans of sports in India must not be deluded into thinking the government will clean up the muck inside the super-rich cricketing establishment in India. For that, we need the government to enact something like the Sports Regulation Act of India 2010.

Tharoor is gone. However, this is not the last time a politician has gotten into Big Sports. Lalit Modi and IPL are under the lens. How far will the government look inside? Will it make sure that in future, the next Lalit Modi does not register the in his name?

Considering that, big name politicians have a pie in everything related to cricket. This is applicable to all other sporting federations too.

Clay Shirky, a noted writer on the social and economic effects of internet technologies says this in his book The Cognitive Surplus, “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” People have called this the Shirky Principle. The Shirky Principle started out as describing the ills of the old media but it can be safely applied to many big ills in society, including the Sports-Political complex in India.

In short, the presence of politicians in sports federations and allied businesses makes reform difficult, if not impossible. One way we can reform and regulate sports in India is creating the Indian Sports Regulator. Like SEBI (stock market), IRDA (Insurance), and TRAI (Telecommunication), the proposed ISA (Indian Sports Authority) will regulate Sports Federations and virtually any Sports Association that fields players with the “India" tag.

The ISA will not be a bureaucratic, money-wasting fiefdom like the SAI (Sports Authority of India). Its simple mandate will be to put in the rules and see that they are followed. The proposed ISA will be authorized to look into any Sports Federation irrespective of whether it receives government funding and incentives or not. This is particularly important since BCCI has for long resisted government regulation on the ground that it is an autonomous body and does not receive government funding.

The ISA will lay out formats for a simple organizational structure, accounting, reporting and fix tenures and responsibilities for office bearers. Things like 'Honorary' or Non-salaried officials will be done with. We all know this is a big scam.

Finally, the ISA will have something like a 'People's Audit' of all Sports Federations, where people will vote and rate the Federations' performance and Action for every year, through Internet voting. This is important. Recently, SEBI banned 14 insurance companies from selling ULIPs on the charges that they were fleecing investors. However, we all know the owners of these big insurance companies have access in the highest places so anything is possible in future. We also know how toothless TRAI, faced with consistent pressure and ignoring by DOT (Department of Telecommunications).

That is in short, an idea about how we can fix the sports situation in India and make people accountable.


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