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Written Assurance Given By Government Of India, Says Ready To Host Athletes From All Countries, Including Pakistan

Story Highlights

  • India was banned by IOC as it refused to provide Visa to Pakistan players.
  • India will organize international sports competitions and will allow all eligible athletes.
  • Sports minister earlier had a meeting with the IOA General Secretary Rajeev Mehta

Mumbai: In a recent development, the Indian government on Tuesday gave written assurance to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that eligible athletes from all countries, including Pakistan, will be allowed to participate in future programs hosted by India.

Earlier, in view of the terrorist attacks in Pulwama, India refused to provide the visa to two Pakistani shooters and a coach for the ISSF World Cup in February, due to which India was banned to host any Olympic-related event by the IOC.

The Global Olympic Association had told all the international federations that they should not host any sports program in India unless their government changed their policies towards the players of Pakistan.

In a letter to IOA President Narendra Batra, Union Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julianiya said that the Indian government wants to cooperate with IOC’s guidelines for hosting future international events and they will allow all eligible athletes related to any country. The letter was also marked by the IOC chief Thomas Bach.

The letter reads, “It is the government’s policy that India will organize international sports competitions and will allow all eligible athletes related to any National Olympic Committee recognized by the IOC or any national federation belonging to the International Federation.

“This kind of participation of athletes will be without prejudice to our political positions and policies on other political matters, in which issues such as international recognition or the origins of the athlete will be included,” further stated.

The government’s decision is expected to reduce the stress and expansive methods of India to host the events recognized by the IOC. It provides a clear route for Pakistani players to participate in any program in India.

This comes days after newly appointed Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju met IOA President and Boxing Federation chief Ajay Singh to discuss the matter.

Sports minister earlier had a meeting with the IOA General Secretary Rajeev Mehta to discuss the future possibilities of hosting Olympic-related events in the country.

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