IOA yet to get sponsors for 2023 IOC Session, mulls shifting venue from Mumbai to Delhi

The IOA had initially proposed to host the 2023 IOC session in Mumbai, but is now looking to move to New Delhi owing to a lack of sponsors.

Indian Olympic Association chief Narinder Batra has written to the IOC to enquire if there is a provision to change the host city of the 2023 IOC Session from Mumbai to New Delhi.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has kept New Delhi as a back-up venue to host the 2023 International Olympic Committee Session (IOC), for which it has made a bid, after failing to get confirmation from sponsors for the event.

The IOA had initially proposed to host the 2023 International Olympic Committee session in Mumbai, which is expected to choose the host city for the 2030 Winter Olympics. The IOA had already submitted the formal bid to IOC chief Thomas Bach on the sidelines of the governing body’s 134th Session in June this year.

But after failing to get a “confirmed” offer for the event, which will need funds to the tune of USD 8-9 million, the IOA has now asked IOC whether there a provision to change the host city from Mumbai to New Delhi.

“The offer from the business house ... did not come on 19th November or 20th or 21st or 22nd or even 23rd, which could be taken before IOA Executive Board for discussion and decision,” Narinder Batra wrote in a letter addressed to IOC’s event management department.

“The Business House was supposed to send its confirmed offer to IOA to go before IOA EB by or before November 19.

“One question which the (IOA) Executive Board wanted to probe was that in case there is any difficulty/delay in holding the event in Mumbai, then is there any possibility/time for IOA to probe and find out if the IOC Session 2023 could be done in Delhi,” he said in the letter.

Batra also informed the IOC that IOA has constituted a five-member committee of Anil Khana, Sudhanshu Mittal, Adille Sumariwalla, Anandeshwar Pandey and R. K. Sacheti to finalise and sign a contract or agreement with a business house to sponsor the 2023 IOC Session.

After the IOA Executive Board meeting here on November 23, Batra had said that all the parameters of the 2023 IOC Session bid have been met, except for one.

“The only remaining thing pending now is the contract with the business house. We have not got any offer from any business house. IOA does not have any funding source, so we cannot bear the expense,” Batra had said.

“We were expecting that letter of offer (from the business house) will come but iy has not come yet. If it does not come, we have decided that we have to say sorry (to the IOC).”