The Government of India has lifted the major block to end the International Olympic Committee sanctions for hosting international sports events in the country. Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya in a letter addressed to Indian Olympic Association president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra has confirmed for the international sports events under the aegis of the IOA, “participation of athletes without prejudice to our principled positions and policies on other political matters including issues such as international recognition or otherwise the country of origin of the athletes”.
The letter, also copied to the IOC president Thomas Bach, confirms that all eligible athletes and officials will be get visas for the events organised in India under the IOA.
The development shall effectively resolve the issue of India’s suspension for hosting international sports events.
The IOC had temporarily denied India the right to host international events after two Pakistani shooters were not granted permission to visit New Delhi for the ISSF World Shooting championship in February this year.
India had earlier also refused to grant visa to a female Kosovan boxer for the women’s world boxing championship in November last year, since the government doesn’t recognise Kosovo as a nation.
A formal nod to lift the suspension will come only after the IOC executive board deliberations soon. However, the only hurdle seems to have been cleared with the Government of India letter.
“The Hon’ble Sports Minister and the Secretary Sports Govt of India were extremely positive and helpful for an urgent and immediate resolution for this issue. I am extremely grateful to them,” said IOA president Batra.
Batra has been coordinating on at all levels to end the stalemate. “My sincere thanks to Ajay Singh, President, Boxing Federation of India, for all his support. My thanks also go to the office bearers, executive board and all the Members of Indian Olympic Association for their unconditional support and trust in me, which motivated and encouraged me for resolution of this issue,” he added.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India had also written to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for permission to host women’s cricket team from Pakistan. The sports ministry had referred the matter to the Ministry of External Affairs.
The development will also ensure the presence of Pakistan table tennis team to come for the Commonwealth Championships in Odisha from July 17 to 22. Pakistan have confirmed their entries for the event.
The decision will also enable Pakistan’s national table tennis team to come for the Commonwealth Championships in Odisha from July 17 to 22, for which, the Pakistani paddlers have already entered their entries.
“It’s the policy of the government that India will hold international sporting events and will permit all qualified athletes belonging to any National Olympic Committee (NOC) recognised by IOC or any national federation affiliated to the international federation concerned to participate. Such participation of athletes shall be without prejudice to our principled positions and policies on other political matters including issues such as international recognition or otherwise of the country of origin of the athletes,” sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya wrote to Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) president Narinder Batra and marked a copy of the letter to IOC chief Thomas Bach.
“The government of India has always attached high importance to the development of sports in the country. It’s the vision of the government to enhance the sporting capabilities of our people through our association with the IOC, and based on the values and principles of the Olympic charter,” the letter added.
TOI had, in its edition dated April 3, 2019, exclusively reported that the ministry and the IOA have reached a consensus that the new government will provide such an undertaking to the IOC soon after taking the charge following the conduct of the general elections.