Ali Larijani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Ali Larijani, head of Iranian parliament has called on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to assure the establishment of the ministry of sports and youth.

Mehr News Agency reports that Jalal Yahyazadeh, head the parliament’s physical education committee has said that Ali Larijani has written a warning letter to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stating that the ministry of sports and youth must be established in accordance with the law passed in this regard by the parliament in January of 2011.

Yahyazadeh criticized the government for giving no sign that it is working to establish the minister. He said lack of accountability in the Physical Education Organization is unacceptable. He noted that the government’s own April 9 deadline to launch the ministry is swiftly approaching.

Iranian sports federations have denounced the proposed ministry, calling it an obstacle to the progress of Iranian athletics.

However, Morteza Shams, soccer expert and journalist told Radio Zamaneh in January that the move would in fact benefit the world of Iranian sports.

“If sports activities are run by a ministry, then through their representatives, people could at least hold the minister of sports accountable for failures in that field,” Shams argued.

On the other hand, the former deputy of the Physical Education Organization, Saeed Faeghi, described the proposed ministry as “a restriction on sports.”

In a note on Khabar-on-line last January, Faeghi wrote: “All over the world sports are run by non-governmental organizations. If it is turned into a ministry here, all heads of organizations and federations will become government officials. Then how can they deal with their international counterparts?”

He added that the establishing a new ministry is counter to the government’s development plans.