Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday inaugurated the country's first "Sports Arbitration Centre of India" in Gujarat which will serve as an independent body to fast track disputes in the sports sector. Rijiju said this centre will have "a far-reaching impact" and play an important role in expanding the country's sports sector.
"Sports Arbitration Centre of India (SACI) is going to give a major push to make the sports sector big. Because when the sector grows, there will emerge lots of issues attached to it. So you have provisions to handle those emerging issues," he said after the inauguration. The SACI is promoted by Ahmedabad-based SE TransStadia Pvt Ltd as an independent body to fast track disputes in the sports sector. The Ministry of Law and Justice will provide all the legal backing to the SACI which will serve as a mechanism to redress issues related to sports, an idea that was never thought of before in India, he said.
"The SACI will have a far-reaching impact for the sports sector of the country by creating a reputation and establishing credibility for itself through the provision to settle disputes and other issues and concerns of the sports sector in a fast, transparent and very accountable manner," the minister said. "When (sports) is an industry, there will be lots of commercial involvement. Then stakes will be very high. When the stakes are high, you must have the mechanisms to redress and address those issues. This (SACI) is on the line of alternative disputes resolution," Rijiju told PTI.
He said all the necessary preparations have already been thought about and taken. "We have to take the next step. (The SACI) has to be headed by people with credibility. Credible people will take it forward. From our side, we will give necessary policy backing, because after all we have to make sports a big sector," said Rijiju, who had served as Union Sports Minister. The Union Minister further said that to make India a sports nation, arrangements have to be made for things such as sports science, sports arbitration, medicine, and training. "The Narendra Modi government will provide full support in the terms of finance, manpower and policy etc. to private companies and state governments working in the direction of promoting sports," he said.
Rijiju said as the Law and Justice Minister he is acquiring views on the required policy changes or the need for a new Act to promote the sports sector. TransStadia founder and Managing Director Udit Sheth said the SACI will list out a few known arbitrators who are independent and it has nothing to do with the company. "Those arbitrators can be listed out and paid directly by the disputing parties and settle the issues. We only provide this centre and the process, so that it goes through a process, which is governed under the international laws of sports," he said.