The Chess Players Forum (CPF) of India has written a letter to the Sports Minister, Kiren Rijijiu complaining that the All India Chess Federation (AICF) is not adhering to the National Sports Development Code. The letter which is said to be written in the interest of safeguarding the rights of chess players also accuses the federation of having ‘draconian anti-player’ laws.
The letter from the president of CPF, IM Varugeese Koshy, mainly identified two areas of concern from the point of view of the chess players. While the first point talks about the Code of Conduct for the players the second refers to the lack of representation of prominent chess players in the AICF.
“The powers of Suo Moto action self-granted by the AICF to act against chess players are against the tenets of our Indian Constitution as well Civil Code of Law, hence illegal and draconian in nature. This is totally against the letter of spirit of the Sports Code which advises NSF towards ‘Protection and promotion of players’ interests and welfare,” read the press release from CPF.
The press release further adds that, “Even though the Code clearly stipulates AICF to include prominent chess players in its Management Committee with a minimum of 25% representation, with rights to vote in the decisions of administration, it has never been implemented by the body.”
The working of AICF is already highly shaky as the federation is currently undergoing a big power-struggle between two parties. The elections for AICF were to be earlier held in February 2020 but it was cancelled by the courts and fresh elections are yet to be held.
The letter from CPF also requests the Sports Ministry to ensure that the election process follows the National Sports Development Code and declare the elections invalid if the same is not followed.
The National Sports Development Code was implemented in the year 2011 to bring together everything pertaining to the good governance of sports in India. It is mandatory for all the national sports administrations to abide by this code or they stand a chance of being suspended.