Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra has reiterated the country’s determination to bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics, even though the International Olympic Committee recently suspended all event-hosting discussions with the organisation.
Batra argued that Mumbai, New Delhi and even Bengaluru would be capable of hosting the 2032 summer games and said India would also look to host other major competitions to prepare its infrastructure for the larger event.
“We are also looking at 2026 Youth Olympic Games, we have asked for the 2021 IOC Congress to be held here. Apart from this, we have expressed our interest in hosting the 2030 Asian Games so that infrastructure will be ready early. It will be a two-year gap to the Olympics,” Batra told reporters at the draw ceremony for the Fiba Asia Cup basketball 2021 qualifiers.
India submitted a formal expression of interest to bid for the 2032 summer games in December last year but in February the IOC suspended all event-hosting discussions with the country because of ongoing tensions with Pakistan.
The IOC also revoked the Olympic qualification status of the 25m rapid fire pistol competition taking place at the time in New Delhi after Indian government authorities failed to grant an entry visa to the Pakistani delegation comprising two athletes and one official. This visa refusal was related to a terrorist attack in the Indian region of Kashmir, where at least 40 Indian paramilitary troopers were killed.
But Batra suggested that the Indian government’s denial of a visa to Kosovan boxer, Donjeta Sadiku for the Women’s World Championships in New Delhi last November might prove to be a greater impediment to discussions.
“The Pakistan issue is different. The issue is Kosovo as India doesn’t recognise Kosovo,” he said. “The IOC’s rules state that all countries in a tournament must be given [a] visa. Even Russia doesn’t recognise Kosovo but the Winter Games will be held there. There is now a discussion and we will explain that situation. We are hopeful it will be sorted out.”