People will have to learn to live with sporting activities without spectators: Kiren Rijiju
Though the training of Indian athletes has been disrupted by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis worldwide, sports Minister Kiren Rijiju assured that India is at the best stage of their preparation for any Olympics so far in the history.
The deadly coronavirus has brought the world to a halt and forced players and others to remain indoors in order to contain the virus. Nearly all the sporting activities across the world have also been put on hold for the same reason. However, some countries like Germany have resumed Bundesliga while others are planning to work a way out to bring sports to life again.
India too has been under lockdown due to the Covid-19 crisis, however, the government eased some restrictions in the 4th stage of the lockdown and also allowed the use of sports stadiums and complexes but without any spectators.
Kiren Rijiju informed that a detailed SOP has been worked out so that players could resume their training soon.
"We have been planning out and SAI has prepared a detailed SOP which is made by experts from different fields. It is already being issued to all federations and other bodies. We have been advising that health and safety are top priorities and besides that we have to keep in mind we have to keep guidelines issued by the home ministry in mind and the guidelines issued by the local authorities," Rijiju said.
"We have been planning to resume the events but before that we need to resume the practice and training. We cannot resume tournaments immediately. Athletes who are all kept in respective hostels or home Their fitness has been tracked and they been touch with the coaches, fitness experts and they are monitoring each and every athlete who is of higher stature and who plays for India."
Taking about the IPL 2020, which has put on hold for an indefinite period due to the Covid-19, Rijiju said that the government would take the call on conducting any tournament.
"In India, the government has to take a call and it will take a call depending on the situation. We cannot put health at risk just because we want to have a sporting event. Our focus if fighting Covid-19 and at the same time we will have to work a mechanism to get back to normalcy. It is difficult to confirm dates but I am sure we will have some kind of sporting events this year."
Taking about the prospect of the Tokyo Games that were scheduled for this year but were also postponed to 2021, the minister said he is confident that the prestigious global event will be held next year.
"Olympics is still far away and we have full confidence in the Japanese government and IOC and every country will support that the conduct of Tokyo 2021 will not be postponed There are too many stakes in Olympics, so it is difficult to even foresee that Olympics can be postponed.
"As far as India's preparation goes, We are at the best stage of our preparation of any Olympics so far in history. This is going to be India's biggest contingent so far and have medal-winning prospects. But I am not saying we are so prepared to finish in the top 10 or 5 but our long term target is that India will be in the top 10 in 2028."