AFI polls under scanner

New Delhi: Athletics Federation of India (AFI) became the third national sports federation (NSF) to earn the government's wrath for not following the sports code in its election.

The sports ministry, on Tuesday, set aside the elections to the post of president, secretary and treasurer of the AFI and asked it to go for a re-poll for the three principle office bearers within 60 days.

Last week, the government withdrew recognition of Archery Association of India (AAI) and Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) for a similar reason. Both were served notices and were finally derecognised after their replies were not found satisfactory.

Ministry sources said the re-lections in the AFI were ordered mainly on technical grounds. It was found that the constitution of the AFI, a body widely considered the stronghold of tainted Commonwealth Games official Lalit Bhanot, was not in tandem with the sports code.

The AFI constitution states that a person must be an existing member of the executive committee of the federation for seeking election to the post of president and secretary. This clause was found to be restricting the potential candidates and was also in violation of the code.

"The AFI has been directed to amend its constitution to delete Article XIV (b) (1) and hold elections to the above three posts de-novo. They have been advised that if the above action is not carried out within the period of 60 days, or February 28, 2013, whichever is earlier, the recognition to AFI shall stand withdrawn without any further notice," a statement from the sports ministry said.

AFI president and former national sprint champion Adille Sumariwalla said AFI would abide by the decision of the government. "We will hold re-elections in the next two months." While CK Valson is the secretary, former athlete Satyanarayan is the treasurer.

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