India motorsports body FMSCI has no plans to remove Vijay Mallya as its chairman despite the troubled businessmen being wanted back home for unpaid loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore.
“As of now there are no plans to remove him. Anyway he is an honorary chairman and has no executive powers. To add to that, he doesn’t interfere in the day to day functioning of the FMSCI,” FMSCI president Zayn Khan told PTI today.
Mallya, who has been in “forced exile” in the UK since March, has been associated with motorsports for decades and also co-owns the Force India Formula One team.
However, with his passport being revoked by the Indian government, Mallya is unable to attend the F1 races around the world and has only attended the British Grand Prix so far this season.
For FMSCI, he is also the body’s official representative on the world body FIA’s Word Motor Sport Council (WMSC) with the deputy titular being Vicky Chandhok.
“Vijay (Mallya) and Vicky make a very good team for us in the FIA. They are widely recognised and respected for their work in motorsport. In fact, if we are to remove Mallya now, India would lose out on a representation on the World Motor Sport Council,” said Khan.
With Mallya’s inability to travel outside UK, Chandhok attended the last WMSC meet in Turin, Italy.
Among other administrative issues concerning the FMSCI, Khan said the body has taken legal help to fully comply with the Sports Ministry guidelines.
As of now, an eight-member council elects the office-bearers but Ministry wants all member clubs to have voting rights.
“We are on our way to making amendments in the FMSCI constitution and by September end or October, the aim is to hold fresh elections fully in compliance with the Ministry guidelines,” said Khan.
The FMSCI was re-recognised by the Ministry last year, who put motorsports in the “others” category, making it ineligible for any government funding. However, FMSCI is fine with no financial assistance.
With race promoters Jaypee Group in deep debt, the return of the Indian Grand Prix is ruled out in the near future.Khan, who is in regular touch with the government officials, said the Ministry is keen on having the race back again.
“They (Ministry) keep asking about the Indian Grand Prix, which means they have interest in the sport. But unfortunately, it is a matter between the Formula One rights holder and race promoters. There is not much we can do,” Khan added.