In an attempt to safeguard the rights of chess players, the Chess Players Forum (CPF) on Wednesday said it has written to the Central government against All India Chess Federation (AICF) for not following the National Sports Development Code and also having “draconian anti-player" provisions.
In a statement issued here, the CPF said, that in a letter of Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju, it brought to his notice that the AICF is not adhering to the National Sports Development Code, 2011, a mandatory guideline by the Central government to streamline sports administration in the country.
“We found two issues of concern from the perspective of chess players: 1) the Code of Conduct for players as mentioned in the Constitution of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) and (2) non-inclusion of prominent chess players of the country in the management of AICF to a minimum of 25 per cent of the total strength with voting rights, as stipulated in the Sports Code," the CPF said.
According to CPF, players or other officials of AICF or state associations are liable for suspension or expulsion for refusing to comply with the provisions of this Constitution, Rules and Regulations or are guilty of such conduct which, in the opinion of the central Council, is likely to affect the character or stability or interest of the Federation.
The CPF is also raised objection to another bye law of the AICF, stipulating that the players shall desist from indulging in any act detrimental to the interests of Federation, nor shall they spearhead any movement against the Federation and not also pass any derogatory remarks in public or to the press about it.
The AICF rules also state that chess players shall strictly abide by the Constitution, Rules, Regulations and Orders/Instructions of the Federation in force from time to time and also abide by the instructions of the arbiters and AICF office-bearers.
According to the forum, these show the desire to browbeat players into complete submission to their authority and curb voices of right and healthy criticism.
“Especially alarming are the suo moto clauses giving the AICF the authority to act against players on flimsy and authoritative grounds, very well aware that they practically do not stand any chance to legally face such actions of the AICF. Majority of professional players are dependent on the game for their livelihood, the very reason the body promulgates such harsh clauses," it said.
“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 (National Sports Federations) towards ‘Protection and promotion of players’ interests and welfare," the CPF said.
Pointing out that AICF has not adhered to by the above stipulations even nearly a decade after the central government had issued the sports code, the CPF wants the Sports Ministry to act and safe guard the interests of chess players.