No exhausting quarantine for overseas athletes: Kiren Rijiju

Vinayak Padmadeo

Today News Online Service

Ahmedabad, February 24

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has reiterated that athletes from any foreign country will not be inconvenienced in any way if they travel to India for competitions.

Starting from March 15, when the shooting World Cup is scheduled to begin in New Delhi, India is supposed to host many high profile international competitions. However, spurt in Covid cases and the country’s quarantine laws have left many wondering whether they should compete in the event.

The Asian Boxing Championships in April and a Tokyo Olympics qualifying tournament in badminton in May are some of the high profile tournaments that are scheduled to be held in coming months.

The International Shooting Sport Federation had also sought a clarification from the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) regarding India’s quarantine rules.

The NRAI wrote back saying they were awaiting a response from the Sports Ministry regarding the quarantine rules.

“I have already assured that for international tournaments held in India we will ensure that foreign players don’t have to suffer a long quarantine but the set health protocols have to be followed,” Rijiju said.

“The problem will be the same for our players too. If you keep our players in 10-15 days of quarantine then they will not travel as well. We have protocols that will have to be followed but we will try to do our best to ensure that players have to serve less time in quarantine,” he added.

For the ISSF World Cup, athletes travelling from the United Kingdom and Brazil have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period of seven days even if tested negative.

Nevertheless, Rijiju said his ministry would ensure that top players coming to India do not get discouraged to travel for competitions.

“It is not a big issue. They (foreign players) will come with a negative test and then they will be tested in India again. We do not want that top foreign players coming for our World Cup or international events to be discouraged,” he said.

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