Friday, 28 January, 2022
HomeTalk PointObservers are the moral conscience of Indian sports

Observers are the moral conscience of Indian sports

Text Size:

ThePrint asks:

Mary Kom and Sushil Kumar have resigned. But is there a conflict of interest in active sportspersons being observers?

There’s no question about it. Sportspersons can’t be observers in their own sport when they are active. It is ideal to have these legends as observers, but only once they retire from the game.

People thought that Mary Kom and Sushil Kumar have retired, and thus the position was granted. Now that they’ve again come back to the arena once again, ideally, they should have resigned on their own.

Historically, government observers are people who have had absolutely no impact in the elections or in the issues they observe. They’ve never given any reports on the basis of which good things have actually come out.


Here are other sharp perspectives on sport observers:

Anup Kumar, men’s kabaddi captain
Sushil Kumar, wrestler


Observers are, in fact, people who are the ‘moral conscience’. They are the people on whom the government relies on to ensure that guidelines and sports codes are being adhered to by the federations and various authorities.

There will be very few instances (I won’t be surprised if there are none) on the basis of whose reports actual actions have been taken.

It is a good principle to have people who have reached the highest level at an international platform to be the observer. But with active athletes, this could lead to a situation of conflict of interest.

You need a person with high integrity and spine. The suggestions for these names should come from the fraternity itself and people who understand the domain.

Sure, if Mary Kom and Sushil Kumar want, they can continue. There’s no law, no rule stopping them, saying they can’t hold such positions if active. Until recently, even the BCCI didn’t have it. Only after Supreme Court’s intervention, they came out with a proper code on conflict of interest.

Rahul Mehra is a sports lawyer and activist.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular

×