BLACK SPOT IN GAME OF SKILL- GREY AREA IN SPORTS LAW

By: Manya Jain

“Education system is run by people with little industry experience. Sports by those who have never played. And then we say we have a problem.”

-Chetan Bhagat

India is a country with a lot of versatility and diversity. Sometimes, Sports act as a medium to bind the people together irrespective of their difference in religion, caste, creed, sex, etc. It is a country in which cricket is treated like a religion and players are treated with the utmost respect and in present times many sports are being followed like never before.

If we come to the administration part of the sports in our country, it comes under the ministry of youth affairs which is headed by the cabinet minister and managed by various autonomous sports federations.

As our country is developing, it has become a brimming venue for various National and International sports events, we can see that the popularity of sports is increasing with leaps and bounds, and with this sportsperson, federations and associations have to face many problems like betting, match-fixing, taxation, etc.

Moreover, the UN in its resolution 58/5 adopted in its General assembly in 2003 has recognized sports as a way of promoting health, education, and development. Hence, these things increase the need for a proper, burnished, and well-structured law in the Game of skill and hard work.

If we talk about certain examples like IPL Match-fixing, it became an eye-opener for the players because players who were in this scandal had to be charged under criminal offences as there is no separate law or legislation, in which they could be charged and it was difficult to make out in which category.

Sports Legislations in India

There is no proper legislation to regulate sports in India. The government has made the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports responsible for the task of development and infrastructure in sports for which.

But, for the promotion, it is under the various federations like Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), Sports Authority of India (SAI), Indian Olympic Association (IOA), and many more which are autonomous is nature.

Role of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

The role is to lay down the conditions and requirements for National Sports Federations to get recognition and be recognized as National and to take the funds from the Government, its aid and support.

Role of National Sports Federation

The main role of the federations is to promote sports and find talent. It is responsible for the management, supervision, and regulation of development and promotion.

With the increase in popularity, the dark sides are also increasing like IPL scams, cases of sexual harassment and if we talk about the ball-tampering case of Australia, if same would have happened in India, then it could have been a lot of matter of discussion because there is no single law and not a single umbrella.

If we come to the position of sports policy is concerned in India, there is a National Sports Policy. It came into force in the year 1984 but afterward, it was seen that the bill was incomplete and then it was re-implemented and came into force in the year 2001. This policy had certain objectives and guidelines which are:

Firstly, there must be procedures to be laid down for all the autonomous bodies and federations for making government aid and assistance available.

Secondly, to define the responsibilities of the different agencies which are undertaking and promoting sports.

Thirdly, to identify the sports federations with coverage eligibility under the set guidelines.

This policy has caught the lawmaker’s eye and which lead the lawmakers to give importance to sports, thus, it was included in the constitution of India at the seventh schedule in the State list.

In countries like the US don’t have a structure like this, it has a very systematic approach towards sports law, it has divided into three categories; Amateur, Professional and international categories and there is no single federal legislation.

In Australia, there is an Act, Australia Sports Commission Act, 1989 which is a statutory body governed by a Board of Commissioners appointed by the Ministry of Sport.

In India, there is a need for sports commission which should have the purpose to advise the ministry, identify and support the talent, monitor and take measures to ensure the proper allocation and use of the funds.

All the autonomous federations should not be autonomous, they should be under this commission and should be thoroughly checked and transparency should be maintained. This sports commission should be appointed by the Ministry of Youth affairs and sports and for this, there should be proper eligibility.

This commission should promote and identify talent from the school level only. There should be a balanced involvement of all the levels of the government, from Union to Panchayati raj.

Lastly, there must be a dispute resolution set up by this commission and must be given a proper redressed and most importantly there must be transparency in the workings to avoid corruption and nepotism.

Ending with,

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.

-Michael Phelps

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