IOC lifts restrictions imposed on India with regards to hosting international events

IOC lifts restrictions imposed on India with regards to hosting international events

LAUSANNE: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thursday lifted the restrictions imposed on India with regards to hosting international events, two days after the union government’s assurance that no eligible athlete would be denied visa on political grounds.

The decision was taken at the IOC’s Executive Board meeting here Thursday. In a letter addressed to Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra, IOC’s Director (Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations) James Macleod expressed the world body’s satisfaction with the written guarantee from the Indian government on the issue.

“Lift, with immediate effect, all provisional measures and restrictions imposed under Points 2 and 3 of the IOC EB decision on February 21, 2019, in relation to awarding and hosting any sports events in India, and inform the international federations accordingly,” wrote Macleod.

“We take this opportunity to thank you NOC (National Olympic Committee) and government of India for your joint efforts and co-operation in resolving the situation,” added the letter.

The IOC had decided to “suspend all discussions” with India regarding hosting of global sporting events after Pakistani shooters were not issued visas for the World Cup held in New Delhi in February this year.

As a result, the World wrestling body (UWW) moved the junior Asian wrestling championship out of India. The country also lost the hosting rights of the junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup due to the same issue, though the national tennis federation maintained that it let go of the events due to financial constraints.

The IOC had also revoked the Olympic qualification status for two quota places in the 25m rapid fire event from the New Delhi World Cup due to the denial of visas to the Pakistani shooters in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

Last year, India did not give visas to boxers from Kosovo for the world women’s championships in Delhi. India does not have diplomatic ties with Kosovo as of now.

After the shooting world cup furore, the IOC had said that it will not allow India to organise Olympic-related events in future unless written assurances were given by the government on the participation of all eligible athletes.

The government relented a couple of days back and in a written communication to the IOA President Batra, Union Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya said India 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,” he added. PTI

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