Tokyo Olympics – Big Trouble for Indian Athletes – Indian Olympic Association (IOA) stares at a possible logistical nightmare as Japan government on Wednesday decided to ban entry of foreign residents who are travelling from India. The entry ban will take effect from Friday (May 14), and it’s unclear how long the restriction will be in place for.
Tokyo Olympics – Big Trouble for Indian Athletes – The step, which also bans travellers from Nepal and Pakistan, was taken in light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the emergence of more virulent variants, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Despite reduced qualification opportunities and limited competitions to prepare for the biggest multi-sport competition, India are likely to send more than 100 athletes in at least 13 sports for the postponed Tokyo Games, which starts July 24. But the latest development, of banning travellers from India, will present a nightmarish problem for the IOA.
Tokyo Olympics: Japan bans travel from India- If this temporary ban remains, Indian athletes and officials will need to leave relatively earlier for the Games, or probably camp in a country which is not in Japan’s ‘red list’.
Currently, not all ‘qualified’ athletes are camping in one centre. Different associations have different camps, and some are abroad taking part in competitions in the hope of last minute fine-tuning.
Speaking on the same lines, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief Narinder Batra had said to Insidesport.co, “We have no information from IOC on the matter and we follow their instructions. Most of our athletes have been vaccinated. Also, as per the protocols 14 days quarantine is necessary for foreign athletes who face travel ban.
Narinder Batra further added, So, if we are put in that criteria, we will send our athletes to countries where there is no travel ban a month before the Olympics and then they can easily travel to Tokyo”
Tokyo Olympics: Japan bans travel from India- IOA will be required create different groups to felicitate smooth flight to Tokyo at great expense. Such scenarios will leave the powers that be at IOA and sports ministry at their wits’ end. It will take toll on some itineraries, to say the least.
Then, there are many COVID-19 protocols to be followed too, including quarantine and testing. It sure will take a massive toll.