Batra rules out bilateral series with Pakistan for now

The newly-elected IOA president believes bilateral or trilateral series with the neighbouring nation is an absolute no unless the relations improve.

Narinder Batra: "I personally believe we (India) should bid for the big events."   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Narinder Batra formally took over as the new president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after winning elections at the Annual General Meeting here on Thursday.

The newly-elected IOA president spoke on several issues in his first interaction with the press.


On issues around Sports Code:

It would be improper of me to comment on a matter in court but my understanding is that the code applies only to National Sports Federations (NSFs), not the IOA. That said, as far as I know, the IOA is in full compliance with the National Sports Code of 2013 since reworking its constitution, which has been approved by both the IOC and the government. Also, we need to define a sportsperson, who can be anyone having played at a certain level, not just those who have represented India. I would think about 68 percent of our EC members fulfil the criterion.

On working relations with the government:

We need to work on our relations with the government; how they can improve. They should understand us, we must understand their points and work together. The attitude is to work in a cordial environment but the government should also understand that there is a certain autonomy and independence for the NSFs. There is a very thin line and I hope we both work within our restrictions and limits.

On India hosting major competitions:

I personally believe we should bid for the big events and I am aiming at India hosting the Asian games in 2026, the CWG in 2030 and the Olympics in 2032.

On bilateral series in any sport with Pakistan:

I have always held the view that in international competitions, we cannot boycott any team because that will only have repercussions for us. As far as bilateral or trilateral series is concerned, this is my personal view that it is an absolute no unless the relations improve and they improve their behaviour. I know certain sections believe sports and politics should not be mixed but this is my view.

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