Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi
Sports minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday made it clear that a decision about not taking part in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games following the omission of shooting from the event’s cannot be left to the Indian Olympic Association alone.
IOA has threatened to boycott the 2022 Games protesting the decision to drop shooting from the competition in which India had won as many as 16 shooting medals out of a total haul off 66 in the 2018 Gold Coast CWG
Last week, the Commonwealth Games Federation at its Executive Board meeting dropped shooting and Archery from the Games while recommending the inclusion of three new sports.
Rijiju said he will discuss the issue in details with the shooting federation (NRAI) and IOA before taking a decision. “I haven’t discussed with the shooting federation. Officially I don’t know about their position. If you have to boycott, you have to ask the government because these decisions are not to be taken unilaterally, it has to be done through proper consultation,”
“It is a matter of future of our athletes and national prestige, everything is involved. Our IOA must have taken a stand and we will discuss with them.”
Asked about the IOA’s submission of a formal expression of interest to bid for the 2032 Olympic Games,the minister said he was not averse to the idea of hosting of mega events .
“It is a pride for any nation to host international events, who wouldn’t want to have an Olympics, Wrld Cup or any other international championship. The question is you prepared for that? And how much you are putting in preparation for that,”
“You can’t just have an event and then create an embarrassing situation. It is not about hosting the event but hosting it in a befitting manner.
“There is no doubt as a nation we will feel proud if we can host an Olympics . We are positive and we will discuss with IOA and then we will formulate … these are big decisions and can’t be spoken out in the heat of the moment. Proper planning and through discussion is required.”
Talking about the much awaited National Sports Code Rijiju said “After I took over, I haven’t gone through the entire provisions, and there is a matter in the court also, so if the new sports code has to be adopted it has to be done through proper consultations with stakeholders.
“I want to work with all the federations and IOA. We are one, we don’t have contradictory interests or ideas, and we are working for the interest of sports. It should be done as soon as possible but whenever we do it we will do it in consultation.