Delhi Soccer Association answerable under RTI Act: CIC

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 27 (PTI) The Central Information Commission has declared the Delhi Soccer Association (DSA) a “public authority”, thus making it answerable to people under the Right to Information Act.The ruling comes after one D K Bose sought to know from the DSA the status of various complaints received by the association against its office bearers from girl footballers of the national capital.When no information was provided to him, the petitioner approached the Central Information Commission (CIC).The football association claimed before the CIC that it did not come under the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it was not defined as a “public authority”, hence, it was not answerable to queries posed by Bose through his application.”…respondent is not a public authority as defined under Section 2(h) and (f) of the RTI Act, as is nor financed by the government, neither the government had any external control in day-to-day administration of the Delhi Soccer Association as defined in the judgement of the apex court titled TMA Pai and other vs state of Karnataka and other,” the DSA said.The parent body, All India Football Federation (AIFF), also wrote to DSA asking it to “properly investigate” the matter raised by Bose and provide a suitable item-wise RTI reply along with relevant supporting documents.The DSA, however, replied to AIFF claiming that petitioner Bose of Hindustan Football Club was known for manipulating documents for his personal benefits, and sought action against him.After going through the responses of DSA, AIFF and arguments of Bose, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu noted that even in performing its activities as a sole body of football in Delhi, the DSA was expected to act under the control and supervision of the All India Football Federation, a public authority under the Ministry of Sports.advertisementHe noted that the the monopoly recognised, sanctioned and continued by the government through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (through the All India Football Federation) was indirect, but had substantial funding by the government.”This factor is enough to declare the DSA as public authority, though another criterion could also be applied, i.e the direct and real control of the government or governmental agencies over it,” he said.Acharyulu noted that frequent complaints by women sports persons, including those of sexual harassment, against an important executive like vice president reflect an unhealthy atmosphere prevalent in the DSA.”The submissions by the DSA are self-contradictory. On one hand, it accuses the application as misuse, and admits that it has given the information as far as possible, on the other hand, it claims that it is not bound to give any information,” he said.The information commissioner further said that the soccer body did not deny having complete monopoly over the game (of football) in Delhi, but refused to be answerable under the RTI Act.”This is highly unbecoming of a sports body. In fact, being a public body concerned with public activity like football, the DSA should have voluntarily disclosed the entire information about it, including the bits and pieces asked by the appellant in this and several other appeals, and fulfil its obligation under Section 4 of RTI Act,” he said.He said the DSA should understand that it was answerable to each and every sports person and sports lover in the country, and has an obligation to the nation to bring out highly meritorious football players from the city, without quarrelling to deny information.”The Commission has no hesitation to declare unequivocally that being under the control of the AIFF, and with grant of monopoly, established over the sport of football within the territory of NCR of Delhi, the Delhi Soccer Association is a body controlled and substantially financed by the Government of India, and hence, a public authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005,” Acharyulu added. PTI ABS SRYlast_img read more

‘Bury are alive,’ says bidder but final collapse could be days away

first_imgShare on Twitter Football League rejects proposal to readmit Bury into League Two Reuse this content The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Share on Messenger If the old company wreckage is left behind and a new club formed, as AFC Wimbledon famously were in 2002, it can apply only to “step five” of the non-league system – for Bury, the semi-professional challenges of the North West Counties League Premier Division. Dominic Martinez, lead organiser of the phoenix club efforts, says more than 150 people of varied ages and professional skills are working on the project as volunteers.“Many tears have been shed since the club’s expulsion, and I haven’t watched any football this season,” Martinez says. “The phoenix club is the plan B, but a lot of people feel it could be the best option. We have a focus, there is really positive energy and excitement we haven’t seen in Bury for years – and we’re up for it.” Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Hamer says the potential investor, whom Forever Bury clearly believes is credible, wants to know what league the expelled club could play in before he decides to make the investment. There is now, he said, frustration with the Football Association, which is responsible for the decision, for not providing clarity. “We have a bidder in place but no indication as to where Bury will be playing next season,” Hamer said. “He can’t do business plans on that basis, and the club and its history could die on 16 October.”The FA emphasises its willingness to provide guidance on a salvaged Bury’s potential future; in fact the Bury North MP, James Frith, is due to meet Andy Ambler, the FA’s director of professional game relations, on Friday. But the FA also acknowledges it cannot give a definitive assurance now, because its rules require a club to make an application, and significant details and proof of funding will have to be provided to the relevant committee, which then has “sole discretion” about admitting a club.The rules are clear that Bury could apply to join the National League, stating that a club which “ceases to be a member of its league … may be allowed to make an application to join a league/division below the most recent league/division of which the club was a member”.Any club has to have security for a ground to play at, so a deal to play at Gigg Lane would have to be done with the holder of the £3.7m mortgage on the ground, Capital Bridging Finance Solutions. The rules do not specify the financial arrangements required, but it seems likely that the FA and National League would insist on some settling of the club’s outstanding debts. That would mean fulfilment of the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) agreed by Dale, which promised to pay £4m of unsecured creditors 25p in the pound, and paying in full around £1m owed to former players and other football creditors. Since the traumatic expulsion of Bury from the Football League after 125 years of membership, a funereal Gigg Lane has swirled with questions about how far the old club must fall, and how best to resurrect it. Uncertainties, and emotions supporters liken to grief, cloud the way ahead, and a new deadline looms: a winding-up petition issued by HMRC due to be heard on 16 October, which could see Bury finally crumple into liquidation.Dean Hamer, chairman of the Forever Bury supporters’ trust, said in an update last week that the trust was supporting work on the feasibility of forming a new “phoenix” club while working with the latest in a series of potential investors looking to buy the expelled club’s insolvent ruins. This bidder, Hamer said, “at this moment in time wants to remain anonymous”. The bidder himself provided an anonymous statement, saying that “the complex ongoing discussions require a level of confidentiality”, and he was looking into restoring a “community-based club” at Bury. Topics Bury If Bury are to continue at Gigg Lane, a deal would have to be done with the holder of the £3.7m mortgage on the ground. Photograph: Jon Super/The Guardian features The FA Read more Share via Email Facebook Share on Facebook “The fact that we are prepared to make this statement after the EFL ruling [of 26 September not to readmit Bury into League Two next season] should be treated as confirmation that Bury football club is still alive,” he said.But it is not at all clear why an anonymous statement of general intent should be treated as confirmation that Bury are alive, when they are playing no football for the first time since their formation in 1885, had their academy painfully disbanded, have threadbare remaining staff, and are days away from a possible final collapse.Some Bury supporters, weary of mooted investors, named and unnamed, are sceptical about this latest prospect and wary of the insistence on anonymity. Some fear a deal could be concluded before a full public assessment can be done of the buyer’s intentions, finances and plans, as happened catastrophically with the current owner, Steve Dale, who bought the club for £1 in December but never satisfied the EFL he had the money to sustain it. Twitter Share on LinkedInlast_img read more