Hit corruption for a six!

Dear friends across India,

A billion of us got kicked out of the Olympics representing India for the actions of a few corrupt men! But if we support our athletes now we can hit sports corruption for a six!

Our national sporting bodies are havens of corruption and cronyism – stuffed with businessmen and politicians unfit, in all senses, to run them. That’s why our international record in most sports is so terrible and why we got ejected by two international sports bodies this week. Our athletes are cheering because finally the government might be pressured to pass a sports reform Bill. But the main blockers are ministers in the Cabinet who also control sporting bodies!

Only a public outcry, by sports-loving, corruption-hating Indians can blow the whistle on sports corruption. Let’s call on all the Opposition parties to fight for the sports reform Bill and pressure the government to act. When over 50,000 of us have signed, we will stage a mock awards ceremony outside the Sports Ministry, giving out black medals to these corrupt insiders blocking reform. Sign now to save Indian sports:

Sign this now

India’s athletes are now blocked from participating under our national flag at the Olympics because former political aide Lalit Bhanot was elected as secretary-general of the Indian Olympic Association. He spent 11 months in jail awaiting trial on corruption charges related to the Commonwealth Games, and the International Olympics body says the government interfered in his election. He maintains his innocence, but is just one of many inappropriate sports bosses. Another is Vijay Kumar Malhotra, 81, just reelected president of the Archery Association of India for a 40th successive year!

The National Sports Development Bill seeks to free sporting bodies from the grip of powerful politicians and businessmen. But when the Bill was introduced before the Cabinet last year the conflict of interest was laid bare. Many of the fiercest opponents of the Bill were people who also headed sporting bodieslike our Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah and others. They just don’t want to make way for the next generation and have raised all kinds of objections.

Sports is big money in India but these national bodies are accountable to no one and they want to keep it that way. The International Olympic Committee has done us all a huge favour by reminding us that we have to play by the rules. Let’s not allow a few corrupt men to control us and the sports we love. Sign now and get corruption out of our sports stadiums like a sixer! Sign now:

Avaaz members fought and won a massive battle to get an anti-corruption law passed in Brazil. Avaaz people power has become an unstoppable force in global and national politics so let’s keep up the good fight.

With hope and determination,

Alex, Alaphia, Michelle, Emily, Rewan, Ricken, Wissam and the entire Avaaz team