The post of the president in the sports federations still remains an ornamental one. Most of them do not come to their respective offices and they have no idea about what is going on at the federation. A meeting is held once in a blue moon, but that’s it. They hardly come to their federation office.
That brings the question – how sincerely are they discharging their duties? A series of reports published in Prothom Alo’s sports pages gives us a very bleak picture.
With the exception of a few, most of the presidents at the 37 sports federations hardly make any efforts to take things forward.
Generally the Ministry of Youth and Sports appoint top government officials or businessmen or successful people in the private sector as the president of these federations, because they can bring sponsors thanks to their strong network. The appointments are done as per the executive order of the honorable president.
But whether the person is a successful sportsperson or has any interest in that said game is not taken into consideration in most of the cases.
In the past many have been made to accept the position. They could play no role in advancing the game. And not every president is able to bring sponsors, so the federations waiting the whole year for their presidents to bring sponsors often end in getting nothing.
Just an example will give the readers some idea about how grave the problem is. This president of a certain federation went to a bank to get a sponsorship deal. In the end, he did not say anything about his federation’s need, but he did make a request for a job for his nephew. What can we expect from such a president?
The members of the executive committee of these sports federations are generally elected to their respective positions. However, with the exception of three or four, the presidents of the federations are chosen by the government. Nowadays many also do lobbying to become the president because it is not only a matter of honour but it also opens other opportunities.
The positions are voluntary so there is no accountability. There is the lure of foreign tours and if they can find some loopholes they can take certain other advantages. This often leads to rifts inside the executive committee.
A sports organiser said that many of the presidents come to different programmes of the federation just to show their face on TV. Many even become ‘chief guest’ in their own federations’ programmes.
The main problem is that there are no certain criteria to appoint the president of these sports federations. As a result, they are running in a sorry condition. We have to accept the reality that people who are successful in different sectors do not have the time to spend at the federation. So, it is better to appoint people who know ins and outs of the said game. He should be given a fixed tenure and be set a few targets. Only people who are really interested in the game and can spend time at the federation should be made the president in these sports federations.