India gets a major relief from IOC

In a major relief to the Indian sporting fraternity and the various national sports federations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threat of suspension of all sporting events in the country appears to be abating somewhat.

In a communication to The Hindu, the IOC has clarified its decision taken last month to suspend all talks regarding future hosting of international events and recommendation to International Federations to neither award nor hold events in India.

“Following the IOC EB decision on 21 February, the IOC has written to all International Federations and the situation is being examined accordingly by each International Federations so that appropriate action can be taken on a case-by-case basis, if and when necessary,” the IOC said.

This means events that are not expected to figure teams from nations that might have trouble getting visas are unlikely to be impacted by the IOC decision.

The IOC clarification also makes it clear that there was no blanket rule regarding hosting of events and that every international federation was free to assess the impact and act accordingly regarding events in India.

The IOC also gave the example of a recent decision by UEFA “to withdraw qualifying matches for the U-17 European Championships from Spain” to further explain its position. The biggest relief would be to hockey with India scheduled to host the Hockey Series Finals in June.

Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, USA and Uzbekistan are the other teams participating in the tournament and with none of them expected to have any visa issues, the event is likely to go ahead as planned.


However, the status of the junior Asian wrestling championships and the Commonwealth table tennis championships, also allotted to India, remains unclear since Pakistan is likely to participate in both though the IOA is in constant talks with the government to ensure smooth conduct of all events.

“In parallel, the IOC is in close contact with the Indian NOC to urge the government to provide all the necessary written guarantees as required in the IOC EB decision,” the IOC added.

The IOC had, last month, decided to suspend all talks with the Indian government and the Indian Olympic Association regarding future hosting rights pending written guarantees to ensure entry to all participants.

This followed India’s decision to not provide visas to two shooters from Pakistan for the recent World Cup that was also one of the events to earn Olympic qualification quotas.

The two quota places in the said event — 25m rapid fire pistol — were also revoked. Last year, Kosovan boxer Donjeta Sadiku was denied participation in the World Championships since India does not recognise the nation.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 4:18:11 PM |

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