Should India Sports Administrators undergo a Fit and Proper test?

Common Wealth Games 2010, Delhi – The scam that shook the nation and probably the whole world was a master plan that went horribly wrong.  The scam was spearheaded by none other than Suresh Kalmadi who had found a niche in making millions via the less popular sector in India – Sports!

However, there is more to the man than the CWG scam. It is rumored that he made his first million his first sport million dollars when India Olympic Association got into a sponsorship agreement with a major sports apparel company. It also rumored that Kalmadi made a lot of money during his association with Pune International Marathon.

We are sure if there is a deep-drilled investigation on his earnings all the way from organizing the first Pune International Marathon all the way to CWG organization there will be stories of greed and gluttony and unaccounted Dollars all stashed away secretly while Kalmadi sits in Tihar Jail.

As Pranav Gandhi rightly says in his blog, “Suresh Kalmadi should not have been arrested for a scam. He should have been arrested for the rape of Indian Sport over the past few decades.” We have the right to demand a deep investigation into all sporting activities that have happened during his tenure.

Another saddening example of a sport getting murdered in India in the state of hockey in India. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill has single-handedly killed our National Sport of Hockey by occupying the top post and sitting on it without doing much really for Hockey in India and not forget his infamous case of sexual harassment during his tenure as IHF Chief – How come such people are given chances to run and ruin sports in India?

Football in India also suffered a similar demise due to corruption. For years football (AIFF) has been in the wrong hands of Praful Patel. Football in India has never seen any improvement and will probably never see any growth in the future.

The most recent case of Late. Ex-Chief Minister of State Vilasrao Deshmukh winning Mumbai Cricket Association Presidential election by beating Dilip Vengsarkar a former Indian test player with 18 centuries to his name. I really wonder if anyone of these administrators have played sport at armature or professional level, have no achievements in sports – how can we trust them with running a daily business at the top of their sports portfolios?

I think its time the Sports Minister considers a Fit and Proper test as a compulsory criterion for administrators who contest for elections for top positions in sports associations.

Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.