India will not bid for 2024 Olympic Games: IOC chief
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Monday laid to rest speculations about India’s possible bid for 2024 Olympics, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not propose it in their meeting.
Bach also said that IOC thought it would be too soon for the country to host a successful Games as the national Olympic body has come out of suspension only last year. Visiting India for the first time after being elected as IOC chief in 2013, Bach met the PM at his official residence in the evening.
He also had separate meetings with top officials of the Indian Olympic Association and the Sports Ministry earlier in the day, besides attending a lunch hosted by sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal at a city hotel. Bach, who hails from Germany and himself an Olympian fencer, said at a press conference he was surprised by the speculation in the media that India may bid for 2024 Olympic Games.
He clarified that he checked it with the PM, who said the country would rather host the Olympics “after full preparation and after having expertise”. “We were aware of the speculation (about India’s possible bid for 2024 Games). We were a bit surprised about this speculation because we thought it may be too quick for India to host a successful Olympic Games. I am happy that India has come out of suspension last year but the IOA has to find its feet. So, we checked with the PM (regarding the possible bid) and he said he wants to be well prepared and have expertise before doing that. He (the PM) also considered that launching a successful bid for 2024 (before September 15 deadline) may be difficult,” Bach said, elaborating about the meeting, which he described as “excellent”.
Bach, who will fly to Australia tonight from here, informed that a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding was signed among the Government of India, the IOA and the IOC under which the world sports governing body will give assistance with respect to “coaching, sports technology, training of sports administrators and coaches” and establish bilateral cooperation in sports. He also said the PM extended an invitation to hold one of the meetings of the IOC in India in future and to have “bilateral contact with him to further the development of sports in India”. “We will consider all these and we hope my visit will give a boost to sports in India and to the athletes. We hope that India will field a strong team in 2016 Rio Olympic Games,” said the IOC chief.
PM seeks IOC help to make India hub of sports infrastructure
PM Narendra Modi on Monday sought the support of International Olympic Committee in making India a hub of sports infrastructure and sports equipment manufacturing when IOC president Thomas Bach met him on Monday. During the meeting, Modi said sports is essential for any country to inculcate sportsman spirit among its citizens, which serves as a strong bond for the society. Noting concern over the rising trend of civil war and terrorism around the world, they agreed that sports is a powerful unifying force. Modi said India is the world’s youngest country, and has the maximum potential for growth of sports, a PMO statement said. “The PM sought IOC’s support in making India a hub of sports infrastructure, sports technology, and sports equipment manufacturing,” it added. Modi also spoke of India’s humanitarian approach in dealing with recent tragic incidents in the neighbourhood, including the earthquake in Nepal.