IOC decision may impact India’s preparations for Tokyo Olympics: NSFs

NEW DELHI: The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to suspend India’s hosting rights of international events will deeply hurt the country’s image as a rising global sports powerhouse and may also impact the preparations of athletes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, feel most of the national sports federations (NSFs).

TOI spoke to several key officials of the NSFs on Saturday to understand the gravity of the matter and how it would impact the hosting of several international events which have either been granted to India by the respective International Federations (IFs) or are in the proposed bidding phase.

The NSFs urged the sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to sit across the table and quickly find a solution to this peculiar situation. For them, the government should immediately come up with a policy decision with regards to their stand concerning the disputed nations and their athletes, and the same should be communicated to the IOC so that the NSFs can get a clearer picture before placing bids for international events.

“Who are the biggest losers in this? Of course, the NSFs because we are the ones who bring the international events to the country. A policy decision is immediately required clarifying the government’s position on such complex issues. The NSFs would definitely like to take up this matter with the sports ministry, which should then take the lead in resolving the issue,” said Rajkumar Sacheti, executive director, Boxing Federation of India (BFI).

“Another important rule which needs to revisited is that the sportspersons aren’t entitled for e-visa. They have to apply through respective embassies. This system needs a change,” he added.

All India Tennis Association’s (AITA) secretary general, Hironmoy Chatterjee, said the only option left with the Indian federations would now be to send their athletes to foreign shores to participate in tournaments, since the IOC’s decision has barred the country from hosting sports events.

“This would result in extra expenses (to send our athletes), but what else can we do? We know that the IOC Charter is sacrosanct, but then it should also understand the prevalent situation in our country. This decision would certainly impact our growth as a sporting powerhouse.”

International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) Asia region representative, Dhanraj Choudhary, said the decision may hamper the country’s Tokyo Olympic preparation. “…but then nothing is greater than the country’s interest.”

Source: Times of India


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