12 July 2019: The brewing trouble in Indian golf took a turn for the good today. The Indian Olympic Association decided to take matters into its own hands even as the Indian Golf Union remained under a thick cloud. The IOA has constituted a committee to serve as an apex team governing golf in India, in the lead up to the Olympics in Tokyo. Kavita Singh, president of the Women’s Golf Association of India, will chair the committee.
The committee will also include Mukesh Kumar, Onkar Singh and Vir Srivastava. It is also expected that an IGF nominee will join the team to help run the sport as an interim measure to address the vacuum. Among other things, the committee will enable the participation of Indian athletes and officials in events serving to help qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo next year.
The IOA issued a letter to the reigning president of the IGU, Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu informing his team about the decisive move to plug the gaps until the IGU achieves compliance with the National Sports Code. “IOA president Narinder Batra and Secretary General Rajeev Mehta met Antony Scanlon, executive director of the International Golf Federation, on May 6 in Gold Coast to discuss on working together to resolve the situation,” said the letter. “It was then agreed that a golf governance committee would be formed to reform governance, liase with all stakeholders, ensure compliance of norms and help IGU conduct elections.”
The IOA also informed the IGU that even though the body shall remain part of the fraternity, they shall do so without any voting rights until all outstanding issues are resolved. Indian golf administration has been in a state of limbo ever since the IGU failed to conduct elections at the expiry of the term of the current set of office bearers in October 2018.
Matters reached a head when the IGU failed to meet its obligations even after a fourth extension had been extinguished in June this year. Since its suspension in 2017 by the sports ministry, the IGU has been biding time without taking any substantive action to address the glaring deficiencies that have seeped into the administration of the sport.
The body held its last Annual General Meeting and elections on October 28, 2016. After the expiry of their last extension on June 30, the ministry issued a notification de-recognising the IGU, stripping it of its status as the apex body for golf in India.