IOA can't decide to pull out of CWG, says Rijiju

IOA can't decide to pull out of CWG, says Rijiju

Kiren Rijiju

Newly appointed sports minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said the India Olympic Association (IOA) cannot take the decision of pulling out of  2022 Commonwealth Games without consulting the government.

The exclusion of shooting and recurve archery from the Games in Birmingham had prompted IOA to issue the threat of a pull-out. However, Rijiju said: “If you have to boycott, you have to ask the government. Because these decisions are not to be declared unilaterally. These are to be done with proper consultation because the future of our athletes, national prestige, everything is involved. When you make such a big decision, you consult. IOA must have taken a stand, we will discuss with them.”

On IOA's ambitious plan of hosting major events, like the 2032 Olympics, Rijiju said it was important that such events are hosted in a befitting manner. The IOA has already submitted the expression of interest to bid for 2032 Games.

“It is a matter of pride for any nation to host big international events. Who won't like to have the Olympics, World Cup or international championships? The question is: are you prepared for that and how much you are putting yourself in preparation of that? You cannot just have an event and create an embarrassing situation. It is not only hosting the event, but it is hosting the event in a befitting manner,” Rijiju said.

“We are positive and will discuss it with IOA. These are big decisions which cannot be spoken out in the fit of the moment. These are to be declared after a thorough discussion with proper planning and idea.”

A new sports code has been on the anvil for several years now and Rijiju admitted it should be implemented at the earliest. “There is a sports code already there. The court has directed the govt to take up certain measures. If the new sports code is to be adopted it will be done through proper consultation. The government will speak to all the stakeholders and I personally want to work with all the federations and IOA. We are one, we are not contrary to each other.”

The World Archery had recently delisted Archery Association of India (AAI) and served one-month ultimatum to sort out the internal issue to escape suspension. Rijiju said the ministry won't be a mute spectator.

“Government cannot intervene or intrude into the affairs of the management of the federation. But we will not be a mute spectator if the sport is destroyed by mismanagement of any federation. The two factions did something which was not proper. We will ask them to work in tandem with court direction. The interest of the players should not suffer,” he said.

“Same with gymnasts. The factional issue within the sports bodies needs to be addressed through certain procedures Our sports secretary is already meeting our federations one by one. I am planning to meet them soon. I will also sit with corporate bodies. If India has to come up as a super powers then we have to have those financial resources."

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