KATHMANDU, June 11: The Nepal Sports Bill forwarded by the government to the parliament has earned much scorn from the sports fraternity, who say it needs urgent attention and amendment to make it helpful toward the development of sports in the country.
The bill, which is with the National Assembly’s Statue Committee at the moment, has been criticized for not being sports-friendly. Sports people claim that it has been prepared like laws related to other government departments, and that it does not suit the spirit of sports.
“The sports bill is against everybody’s expectation. The bill which is supposed to help develop sports doesn’t allow the required freedom to work toward it,” said Nepal Olympic Committee President Jeevan Ram Shrestha.
Besides sports associations and councils, the bill is set to upset other sports stakeholders as well.
In lack of a friendly law, the recently concluded Eighth National Sports was conducted in old configuration to the detest of players and officials.
Nepal’s National and International Players Associations’ President Deepak Shrestha also criticized the sports bill as being upsetting and frustrating. “It discourages sports bodies, and can send players into depression,” he said.
“The bill should create environment to connect all sports in the country. But it has failed in recognizing Nepal’s international achievements in the past. If it becomes a law as such, it will put the future of Nepali sports in jeopardy.”
The bill has provisions that encourage officials and stakeholders to stay within the Singha Durbar rather than sending them to different provinces and work at the field.
At the moment, Nepal Sports Council (NSC) is the sole body responsible for sports administration. However, its competence has always been questioned. Moreover, it has been in a perpetual rift with the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS).
Under the new proposed board as per the bill, 40 members are set to represent the body, 17 more than the existing provision. None of the functions, duties, and powers of the council has been clearly defined in the bill.
The sports bill doesn’t incorporate international benchmarks for sports regulation in the country. Nepali sports bodies have always been caught up between following the international norms and implementing national laws. The existence of multiple Olympic committees and Cricket Association of Nepal fiasco can be taken as prime examples.
In the bill, any sports body that wants to join or get aid from an international congress will need to take permission from the sports ministry. It will further discourage the independently working sports bodies.
The country’s leadership has never taken sports seriously and thought about making it a national priority. Neither has any necessary measure been taken to stop misuse of sports in recent years for the benefit of different interest groups. Stakeholders are worried that sports has lost its
value due to persistent negligence on the part of the government.