Union Sports and Youth Affairs minister Kiren Rijiju, in an exclusive conversation with India TV, has said that the ministry has prepared the road-map for the resumption of sports across the country. Speaking on India TV’s #TeamModiOnIndiaTV, Rijiju said that the sports, for the time being, will have to adapt to empty stadiums.
“We have prepared a road-map for sporting events to resume all over the country,” Rijiju said.
“Sports are important for a country like ours. Not only active sports, but there are also millions of people associated with the sports’ industry. We are looking to resume the sporting activities as soon as possible.
“Recently, we allowed sports complexes to resume with multiple restrictions. We have also told the state and private academies to resume practice and training in some capacity so that when the time comes, the tournaments can resume.”
Kiren Rijiju further said that the country will have to adapt to watching the games from homes, as it is not possible, at least at present, to allow the fans into the stadiums.
“Once the sporting events restart, we need to adapt ourselves to them being held at empty stadia without spectators,” said Rijiju. (ALSO READ: Important to ensure proper health measures before hosting IPL: Rijiju)
“We are currently in discussions with all the sports federations on how to make the sports more interesting without the presence of spectators. We also assure all the support from the government on the same.”
Rijiju also talked about India’s prospects at Olympics, saying that it was unfortunate that the premier global event was cancelled. He added that India was prepared to send their largest contingent ever for the Tokyo edition.
“In the last one year, India has improved significantly in sports. Whether it be in boxing, hockey, badminton or wrestling, we have broken numerous records. We already have the largest qualification for the Olympics and there are still a few events where qualification remains. India was set to send their largest contingent for the Olympics. So, it is fortunate that the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of Olympics,” said Rijiju.
“But we’re ready to fight the pandemic. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we’re driving the Khelo India and Fit India movement and we will be back on track,” said the sports minister. (ALSO READ: India’s tour of Australia subjected to change if WT20 is postponed: BCCI)
Talking about the return of competitive sports, Rijiju said that the preparations are currently being made.
“As far as the competitive sports are concerned, we are under process of preparing the SOP for the games to resume, in consideration with all the authorities concerned.
“As I said earlier, the priority is health and safety. As much as we want spectators to be present at the stadiums, nothing comes above the lives of people.”
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