Conducting Olympics will send strong message that we’ve moved beyond COVID: IOA chief

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Opposition to the Olympic Games will be there amidst a raging COVID-19 pandemic however conducting the largest sporting spectacle in Tokyo will send out a strong message that the world is shifting beyond the catastrophic scenario, IOA President Narinder Batra stated on Saturday.

The Tokyo Olympics, which was scheduled to be held final yr, was postponed due to the pandemic.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, who can be an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, is hoping that the Games will be held as scheduled, from July 23.

“Life has to move on and conducting the Olympics will give a strong message that we have moved beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” Batra informed PTI in an interview.

“Opposition to the Games will at all times be there however it’s now as much as the organising committee of Japan and IOC to resolve.

“But as far as Indian athletes are concerned we are taking all necessary precautions and have been preparing to the best of our abilities to put up our best-ever performance in the Olympics,” the IOA chief added.

Batra’s remark has come after critics from Japan on Friday submitted a petition, calling for the Games to be cancelled because the host nation fights a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.

The petition, signed by 3,50,000 folks was submitted to the IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) chiefs in addition to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

The petition got here within the backdrop of Japan including three extra areas to a state of emergency, precisely 10 weeks from the scheduled opening of the Games.

The IOA chief additionally assured that the journey ban imposed on India by Japan would not have an effect on nation’s participation within the Games.

Japan on Thursday suspended entry of overseas nationals from 153 nations, together with India within the wake of the current surge in COVID instances throughout the globe.

“This is a temporary travel ban which has been issued by many countries but when it comes to Olympics, there are different protocols in place which a member nation has adhere to,” Batra stated.

“I assure all the accredited Olympics-bound Indian athletes that they will face no problem in entering Japan. There are enough guarantees being ensured by the Organising committee and IOC,” he stated.

“There will be no restrictions for them.”

The IOA chief additional stated that India has been following all protocols, together with well timed vaccination of all Tokyo-bound athletes and officers.

“We have been following all COVID protocols of the Organising Committee and IOC as per as vaccination of our athletes are concerned. “We have additionally been in dialogue with the federal government concerning the protected journey of our athletes to Japan. We are additionally exploring the choice of one-way chartered flight for our contingent to Japan for the Games so that they do not have to come back involved with different individuals,” Batra stated.

“These things will be finalised in due course when the final list comes out by June end. But rest assured we at IOA and the government will leave no stone unturned for our athletes participation in the Tokyo Olympics.”

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