New Delhi: Taking a cue from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the government on Wednesday suspended the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for gross negligence and poor management of the 15th National Para Athletics Championships in Ghaziabad last month.

An official statement, issued here, said the sports ministry also asked the IPC to form an ad-hoc committee to work in place of PCI till a federation is granted recognition.

The IPC, on April 15, had suspended the PCI on the same charges, following which the sports ministry issued a show-cause notice to PCI, asking why should it not be derecognised.

“In a communication sent to the PCI, the ministry has said that the decision has been taken in the wake of numerous serious complaints about poor management of the 15th National Para Athletics Championships held from March 20-22 in Ghaziabad in all aspects viz., logistics, technical, administrative, etc.,” said the statement.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) had conducted an inquiry into the management of the competition and submitted its report to the ministry, who then asked the PCI on why should it not be suspended. The inquiry found that the complaints against it were largely well-founded.

“The government of India is of the view that PCI has violated the terms and conditions of recognition as well as provisions of its own constitution,” said the statement.

“The government has further noted that PCI has not been functioning in the best interest of para sport for which it was granted recognition as there has been large-scale dissatisfaction among players and other stakeholder, thus resulting in adverse impact on both the development of the sport as well as future opportunities and prospects of para-athletes in the country.”

The ministry has written a letter IPC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Xavier Gonzalez requesting for an ad hoc body, keeping in mind the smooth functioning of the Paralympic movement in India so that athletes are not affected.

In the meantime, IPC may authorise the ministry to form an interim body and may ask SAI to send entries of the para athletes for IPC sanctioned tournaments.

IPC’s April 15 suspension of PCI meant that Indian athletes are barred from taking part in IPC sanctioned competitions, including next year’s Paralympic Games at Rio de Janeiro.

The PCI was recognised by the Indian government in November 2011 as an NSF for promotion of sports amongst the physically challenged sportspersons of the country. The IPC has suspended PCI for an indefinite period.

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