Sportspersons welcome National Sports Bill

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) Former and current sportspersonstoday welcomed the government''s National Sports Bill whichprovides for a "fair and transparent" election process andlimitation to age and tenure for their office bearers, sayingthe proposed measures were long overdue.

Welcoming the draft bill, put up in the sports ministrywebsite, former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh hoped thatthe new measures take sport in the country to a new era.

"I have not read entire provisions in the bill. But, ascan be read from what have been in the media, I wholeheartedlywelcome the measures. The country now needs a new direction insports and I hope the initiative by the sports ministry wouldlead to a new era in sports in the country," Pargat told PTI.

Pargat welcomed the age and tenure limitation provisionsin the bill, saying that they should put an end to the longreigns of some of heads of National Sports Federations.

"I am happy about that. We need to change administrationof the NSFs. So many heads (of NSFs) are there for so long,"said the former national hockey team centre-back.

Asked about the participation of former and currentathletes in the decision making process of the NSFs, Pargatsaid, "That is good but the athletes themselves will also haveto be clean and the process transparent."

Former sprinter and Clean Sports India vice-president,Ashwini Nachappa, said the measures in the bill were longoverdue.

"The measures in the bill, which I can understand fromwhat have been already in the public domain, are long overdue.

India now needs to clean up sports and we completely supportany move to bring transparency in the functioning of NSFs andthe IOA," she said.

"I think the heads and top officials of some sportsbodies have remained far too long in their positions, doingtheir own work and nothing for sports and country. It is hightime that the changes are brought in and they are removed. So,we in Clean Sports India support the measures totally," saidthe Olympian.

She said Clean Sports India would send its views andsuggestions to the sports ministry which today sought a debateon the draft bill.

Legendary athlete P T Usha though said she would firstsee the entire draft bill before commenting on it.

"I will read what are there in the draft bill and thenonly will be able to comment," she said when contacted. MOREPTI PDS AH

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