The Problem

One billion with one gold!

Why India, with its billion plus people and a global power in the making, is so backward in sports? Few of the reasons are lack of encouragement of sporting environment and culture, shortage of resources and sports infrastructure at the grass root level. However, India could have done and can do much better than its current performance of winning a lone individual Gold medal at the Olympic Games. If only, the sports governance and management in India improve.

When sportspersons return from major international competitions without winning medals, fingers are raised at them; ministries are questioned in the legislatures, but never have any Indian sports federations and Olympic association been held accountable though they are the actual governing bodies responsible for managing sports in India.

Sports federations have become vehicles for politicians, civil servants, military leaders and businessmen to stay in power and portray themselves as promoters of sports in India. The fact is sports in India has become a victim of political games that these people play. As a result there is a large-scale mismanagement, nepotism and corruption in Indian sports. The end result is obvious in our performance at the Olympic Games and other international championships.

Why don’t former sportspersons come forward to manage their own sports? The main reason is that the mismanagement, nepotism and corruption of the sports federations in selections, training and competitions harasses active sportspersons so much that after retirement from active sports they just leave sporting scenario forever. There are endless examples where outstanding sportspersons vowed that they will never allow their children to enter into sports arena!

The in-activism of former sportspersons have left the arena open for politicians, and other non-sportspersons to continue mismanagement of sports in our country. Sports provides a great platform for exposure and publicity for politicians and therefore the growing trend in our country is to have as many politicians managing the Indian sports federations, some of whom hold as many as 5 to 6 positions in various disciplines.

Sports has become good money-spinners and hence there is a lot of misuse of the funds. Most of them who have occupied the positions of Presidents and secretaries of federations for several decades do not leave these lucrative positions as there is absolutely no threat from our former sportspersons.