Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra has called for an end to the infighting that has kept the sports body in the headlines for the past few weeks. The issue even reached the the doorsteps of International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Hockey Federation (FIH). Also Read - Sports Ministry Moves Delhi High Court Seeking Restoration of Provisional Recognition to 57 NSFs
“I appeal to all officials and members of the IOA to shun infighting, and work collaboratively towards the best interests of athletes and development of their respective sports,” Batra said in a statement on Sunday. Also Read - IOA Infighting Should End For The Good of Indian Sports: Rajeev Mehta
The controversy began when an email exchange between Batra and IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta was made public. Also Read - 'No Preparations, No Olympic Medals' - IOA Chief Narinder Batra After De-Recognition of NSFs
In it Batra had written he has “decided to take over/divide much of your (Mehta’s) work load and will be doing the needful in days to come” so that the latter can “spend more time with his family”.
In his reply, Mehta said if Batra desired to take over the responsibility, he should have contested the elections for secretary general in 2017.
Later on, Sudhanshu Mittal, one of the vice-presidents of IOA, shot off a letter to IOC alleging that the appointment of Batra as FIH president was illegal and he had put in false documents when contesting for the post of IOA president as well.
Mittal demanded an inquiry into his allegations which was swiftly rejected by both FIH and IOC.