Conducting Olympics will send strong message: IOA chief

The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled for 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic.

Life has to move on and conducting the Olympics will give a strong message that we have moved beyond the COVID-19 pandemic
By Aaryanshi Mohan | May 16, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Opposition to the Olympics is going to be there amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Conducting the biggest sporting spectacle in Tokyo will send out a strong message that the world is moving beyond COVID, said IOA president Narinder Batra .

The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled for 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic. 

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President is hopeful that the Games will be on schedule, from July 23.

“Life has to move on and conducting the Olympics will give a strong message that we have moved beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” Batra told PTI in an interview.

“Opposition to the Games will always be there. But it is now up to the organising committee of Japan and IOC to decide.

“But as far as Indian athletes are concerned we are taking all necessary precautions and have been preparing to the best of our abilities to put up our best-ever performance in the Olympics,” the IOA chief added.

Batra’s comment came in after a petition was submitted in Japan on Friday calling for the Games to be cancelled. Japan is currently in the midst of a fourth COVID-19 wave.

The petition was signed by 3,50,000 people. It was submitted to the IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Olympics: Japan imposes travel ban on India

The IOA chief also assured that the travel ban imposed on India by Japan wouldn’t affect the country’s participation. Japan suspended entry of foreign nationals from 153 nations, including India because of the rise in COVID.

“This is a temporary travel ban which has been issued by many countries but when it comes to the Olympics. There are different protocols in place which a member nation has to adhere to,” Batra said.

“I assure all the accredited Olympics-bound Indian athletes that they will face no problem in entering Japan. There are enough guarantees being ensured by the Organising committee and IOC,” he said.

“There will be no restrictions for them.” The IOA chief further said that India has been following all protocols, including timely vaccination of all Tokyo-bound athletes and officials.

“We have been following all COVID protocols of the IOC as far as vaccination of our athletes are concerned.

“It has been in discussion with the government about the safe travel of our athletes to Japan. We are also exploring the option of one-way chartered flight for our contingent to Japan for the Games so that they don’t have to come in contact with other persons,” Batra said.

“These things will be finalised in due course when the final list comes out by June end. But rest assured we at IOA and the government will leave no stone unturned for our athletes’ participation.”



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