New Delhi, June 26: In an unprecedented development, the sports ministry withdrew the annual recognition of all National Sports Federations (NSFs) on Thursday following a Delhi High Court diktat on the matter. The decision comes on the back of a decade-long court case in relation to governance issues within the federations, The Indian Express reported.

Earlier this month, the sports ministry had extended the federations’ recognition until September 30, 2020. However, they were forced to reverse the order. In a letter to all 54 federations, sports ministry deputy secretary SPS Tomar wrote: “… in compliance of the Order dated 24.06.2020 passed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court…, the Department’s letter of even number dated 02.06.2020 granting provisional annual recognition of 54 NSFs stands withdrawn.”

The decision means the suspension of three federations — Indian Golf Union, School Games Federations of India and Rowing Federation of India — will continue. A sports ministry official said they will file a fresh application before the bench and ‘sort out the crisis at the earliest.’

Granting recognition to sports federations is an annual ritual that makes them eligible for government funds as well as assistance for training and competition. In the absence of recognition, the process does not necessarily come to a halt but rather becomes a lot more cumbersome.

The Delhi High Court, however, has said IOA and ministry cannot take any decisions in relation to the unrecognised sports federations without its prior consent.

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