Tokyo Olympics Meeting: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday lost his cool on Indian Olympics Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra during a high-level meeting that was being conducted online to review India’s preparedness for the Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo Olympics Meeting: What exactly happened?
According to a report by The Tribune, the reason was the friction between Rijiju and Batra was a simple misunderstanding. Travel ban on India due to the Covid-19 situation in the country has forced Indian athletes to miss the qualifying tournament. And this was the main point of discussion.
In the last month, India has missed World Relays, the Pro-League Hockey matches between India and Great Britain were postponed, and the two badminton qualifying competitions Malaysian Open and Singapore Open were postponed. All due to the pandemic. This has denied several Olympic hopefuls a shot at the qualification for the Games.
The topic was brought up for discussion and the Sports Minister pointed that National Sports Federations should also pressurise the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because the ban on India was detrimental for athletes.
According to The Tribune, Rijiju at the meeting said: “Federations and SAI have to be well-coordinated so that IOA is given the necessary information.”
Batra disliked the statement and objected to it. He replied: “I take offence sir. I am directly in touch with all federations.”
At this, the Sports Minister clarified his position and said that his statement was interpreted wrongly, and all he wants is what’s best for Indian athletes.
The Tribune report added that Batra then apologised but Rijiju quit the meeting with a temper.
Besides Rijiju and Batra, those who attended the meeting included sports secretary Ravi Mittal and SAI director Sandip Pradhan, Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla, joint secretary sports LS Singh, a Ministry of External Affairs representative, and shooter Gagan Narang.