politics of sports

The Games Politicians Play

The world turns on its axis, night comes after day, the Olympic Games are held every four years. The Olympics are so ubiquitous, so much a predictable, fixed feature of the rhythms of the world that it is easy to forget that they essentially began as a private initiative by a French aristocrat. In the […..]

Chasing A Dream

Is a successful London 2012 possible for India? Or will a sports culture remain an illusion with India not bothering to look beyond cricket and turning into a multi sporting nation? [Edited extracts from Nalin Mehta, Boria Majumdar, Olympics: The India Story, HarperCollins, 2012, 3rd edition, first published 2008] The foundation was laid at the […..]

Unsporting fights

Now that Sania Mirza has added her own bizarre twist to the already strange lovehate relationship between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, it is perhaps useful to take a historical lens and see how this unsavoury squabbling measures up in the long history of Indian sport. By invoking the misplaced argument of insulted Indian womanhood […..]

When Olympic Sports Lost Out

Until the early 1980s, cricket was not the most pre-eminent Indian game. It was popular but hockey was the ‘national game’ and soccer was equally popular in large parts of the country. What happened? [Edited exclusive extracts from Nalin Mehta, Boria Majumdar, Olympics: The India Story, HarperCollins, 2012, 3rd edition, first published 2008] Cricket, Television […..]

KALMADIS OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

For those of us who are pained by the terrible politicisation of Indian sport, it’s lack of professional management and its permanent strangulation by power-brokers of the Kalmadi kind, recent events at FIFA, football’s governing body, are instructive. FIFA has been engulfed by two kinds of allegations: alleged bribery by Qatar in its successful winning […..]

COUNTING THE COST OF PM’S GAMES

The comment of the week: Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot saying in all seriousness that foreign standards of cleanliness may be different from ours, when accosted by the filth of the Games Village. If this had come from a Westerner we would have pilloried him for racism and for besmirching the name […..]

PAKISTAN’S RAW OBSESSION

There is a curious phenomenon that has taken shape in sections of the Pakistani press in the past 3-4 days. At least two TV networks, Express TV and Aaj, reportedly went big with the news that the match-fixing scandal engulfing the Pakistani team was a conspiracy hatched by RAW, the Indian intelligence agency. According to […..]