In spite of charges of unpaid debts and money laundering and facing extradition to India, the liquor baron Vijay Mallya remains India’s top representative in world motorsport body Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
While Indian motorsport body FMSCI removed Mallya as its honorary chairman as a result of the mounting troubles of the Indian businessman, it says will continue with the status quo as far as its representation at the FIA is concerned.
However, ever since Mallya’s passport has been revoked, deputy titular Vicky Chandhok travels to FIA’s conferences including the important Wold Motor Sport Council meeting.
The FIA is the world governing body for four wheel racing and FIM for two-wheel racing.
We nominate representatives to FIA for a three-year term. We can only nominate new names once the current cycle gets over in 2018. If we replace Mallya or even Vicky for that matter now, we lose our seat on the World Motor Sport Council, which is not good for Indian motorsportAkbar Ebrahim, FMSCI president
“To add to that, having both Vijay and Vicky in FIA benefits. They both are well connected in the FIA,” he told PTI.
While Mallya, who is residing in the United Kingdom since March 2016, is having a tough time personally, his Formula One team Force India continue to punch above its weight.
It finished an unprecedented fourth in 2016 and has enjoyed a productive start to 2017 with 53 points from five races.