Why sports management in India needs to include former players

Source– The post is based on the article “Why sports management in India needs to include former players” published in The Indian Express on 10th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial bodies

Relevance-About regulatory structure.

News- The article explains the concept of regulatory capture and need for sports federation to have administrator who were sportsman themselves in past.

What is regulatory capture?

It is a situation when independent government agencies start to uphold the interests of the companies and industries they regulate instead of serving public interest. For Example, the telecom regulator makes rules that favour Jio or Bharti.

Industry gets protected at the expense of consumers.

It is referred to as lobbying in western world and accepted corruption in Asia.

Integrity gets compromised because of this.

In the case of India, the role of the government becomes crucial because both public and private operate together in the same field.

What is the appointment process for regulatory agencies?

Such appointments in India and elsewhere are prerogative of government and rooted in local cultural circumstances.

Objective is to ensure that capture of agency by government or industry is reduced to minimum.

When India started liberalization, western methods of appointment were admired but now there is consensus in favor of regulatory architecture of our own.

Why is the regulatory architecture of our own difficult for India?

Because we have followed the practices of shukrana and nazrana in our societal engagement. These are expressions of gratitude and anticipated benefits respectively. Some of these practices are followed in the professional sphere also.

Why have sports federations become important from the perspective of institutional appointment?

As there will be more commercialization of Indian sports, federations will have more attractive employment opportunities.

Judges and bureaucrats will have more employment opportunities in these federations after their retirement. They have learnt the methods of institutional capture, that is securing post-retirement appointments to regulatory agencies. But they should be guided by a larger public interest and resist the temptation of being beholden to the agency.

Why do we need to act quickly to have our own system of appointments?

Two events are important, that suggest having own system:

First is the International Olympic Committee ultimatum to the Indian Olympic Association to resolve its governance issue and hold elections, failing which it will ban India.

Second is FIFA suspension of All India Football Federation because of influence from a third party that is the Court of Inquiry by the Supreme Court.

Why do sportsmen need to be appointed to the sports federation?

The presumption that bureaucrats or judges are better placed is a self-serving argument.

Sorts administration is becoming complex, demanding training and skills that are more complex.

Government should begin the process by itself. There is no need for external pressure as in the case of AIFF.

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