The Indian government has reiterated its desire to host the Olympics while the 2026 Commonwealth Games remain out of the radar at the moment.
“Sports is an area the PM is very keen on. Nobody has spoken or reached out to us (about hosting the 2026 CWG), nor have we expressed any interest or gone to someone. But what we will be looking at is the future Olympics. The 2036 edition is what we are looking at, the way India is growing as an economy and our clout is growing in every field,” Sports Minister Anurag Thakur told Sportstar in an interaction with select media in Chennai on Saturday.
The minister, here on the occasion of International Youth Day, also made it clear that the relaxation of rules for participation in the Asian Games also required certain criteria and performances. Talking specifically about the football teams and the refusal to gymnast Dipa Karmakar, he explained, “The football teams have been doing well recently even though their ranking in Asia is low at the moment. As a team game, the country has also seen the confidence they have shown. We also hosted the Under-17 men and women World Cups and we see great possibility for this game, both among the masses and in the team to grow. Dipa, on the other hand, was suspended for a long time. Even though she topped the trials, there is no recent performance that we can consider,” Thakur said.
Declaring that the upcoming Asian Games would be the most successful for India in terms of medals, Thakur insisted that the federations not falling in line post it will be dealt with strictly, specially the ones largely controlled by defence services personnel, including golf and equestrian.
“The infrastructure for a lot of these sports -- equestrian, gold, sailing, rowing etc -- were created by the Services and are not available with the states or federations. But we have given them time till the Asian Games and they have to follow the sports code. They have been told clearly to fall in line, there will be no exceptions,” he said.
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