India ready to host athletes from all countries: Government

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Kolkata, June 18 (IANS) After issues with hosting a few international sporting events in recent times, Union Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya has written to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief Narinder Batra, saying that they are looking forward to co-operating with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on hosting future international sporting events. The letter was also marked to IOC chief Thomas Bach.

In the letter to Batra, accessed by IANS, Julaniya said that the Indian government will permit all qualifying athletes belonging to any nationality to participate in sporting events without any prejudice.

“It is the policy of the government that India will hold international sporting events and will permit all qualified athletes belonging to any National Olympic Committee recognised by IOC or any national federation affiliated to International Federation concerned to participate.

“Such participation of athletes shall be without prejudice to our principled positions and policies on other political matters including issues such as international recognition or otherwise of the country of origin of the athletes,” the letter read.

The IOC had, recently, put India’s prospective bids for all big-ticket events on hold for refusing visas to two Pakistani shooters. In November last year, India were let off with a warning for not giving visa to a boxer from Kosovo.

“The stated policy of the Government of India guarantees the participation of all eligible athletes, sportspersons and officials in international sporting events organised in India under the auspices of IOC. Such commitment of the Government of India stems from our world view of ‘The World is one family’, which, in essence, is also the spirit behind the International Olympic Movement.

“We look forward to co-operating with the IOC to resolve any matter in the light of our communication on the hosting of future international sporting events in India,” read the letter.

IOA President Batra thanked all concerned for their support. “My sincere thanks to Ajay Singh (President Boxing Federation of India) for all his support, my thanks also go to the Office Bearers, EB and all the Members of Indian Olympic Association for their unconditional support and trust in me, which motivated and encouraged me for resolution of this issue.

“The Hon’ble Sports Minister and the Secretary Sports Govt of India were extremely positive and helpful for an urgent and immediate resolution for this issue. I am extremely grateful to them. Thanking you all once again for all your trust and support,” he wrote.

–IANS

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