'Politicians heading sports bodies are misusing their powers': Kirti Azad

New Delhi, Dec.5 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former cricketer Kirti Azad on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court's observation that only sportsmen should head sports bodies, and not businessmen, and alleged that politicians at the head of sports bodies are only misusing their powers.

He further claimed that sports bodies like the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are united in corruption and alliance for position.

"I welcome what Supreme Court said because politicians at the head of sport bodies are only misusing their powers. The politics should not be brought into sports. Be it the Olympic Association or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), both are united alliances, united in corruption and alliance for position. They keep changing their opinions and positions," he said.

"I hope the politicians learn and leave these positions, and let sportspersons come in there. Today a player cannot play for the country because the International Olympic Committee disqualified the Indian Olympic Association. This is very unfortunate," he added.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said only sportsmen, not businessmen, should head sports bodies.

"Politics has taken the game of hockey to abysmal low. Earlier India used to win gold medals but now we are struggling to qualify. Sports bodies should be headed by sports-persons...not by businessmen," Supreme Court said today.

The top court's observations were made during the hearing of two warring factions of hockey associations - Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India.

Both associations have claimed that they represent Indian hockey.

The apex court also said politics was responsible for ruining hockey in the country.

"Politics has taken the game of hockey to an abysmal low," it said.

For the record, a majority of sports associations and governing bodies in the country are headed by businessmen and politicians.

There has been a demand for qualified sportspersons to head these bodies.

Hockey India had approached the apex court two years ago. The Indian Hockey Federation, however, told the Supreme Court that the government has recognised them as Indian hockey's official representative.

The case is currently pending in the Supreme Court, and Hockey India is likely to file its response in second week of January.

--ANI (Posted on 05-12-2013)

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