Will chill out guidelines for overseas athletes: Rijiju

Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 7

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has quickly moved to calm the nerves of the foreign athletes and coaches who intend to travel to India for competitions and training.

Starting with shooting World Cup in New Delhi from March 15, India is set to host major international events. Concerns have been raised about the quarantine rules for foreign athletes. However, Rijiju today said that the Government was willing to relax the rules.

“We can relax quarantine rules for those athletes (foreign) and provide all the facilities so that they don’t have to stay in a long quarantine, otherwise nobody will come,” Rijiju said after inaugurating the 162-bed hostel at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

“We have to be slightly careful because of this pandemic. We are in support of hosting international tournaments. But right now we have to take clearance from the Health Ministry and the state governments. Even cities have different rules. But we will work so that those travelling don’t get troubled by our rules,” he added.

Currently, the international passengers are exempted from quarantine if they land with a negative RT-PCR report. However, each state has issued specific guidelines and if the state government rejects the application, the passenger will have to undergo institutional quarantine at the approved centres.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is in talks with both France and Germany for a sparring cum training stint with the Indian boxers. They wanted to invite the boxers from the United Kingdom too but those plans have been shelved. BFI has also decided to formally approach the Sports Ministry to get relaxation just like it had got during the boxing team’s two-month training cum competition stint in Italy.

Also, the National Rifle Association of India has come up with contingency plans of hosting a series of Grand Prix where the top eight shooters will be hosted should the World Cup get postponed or cancelled due to the rising number of Covid patients the world over.

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