Indian Sports Minister spoke about the impact of coronavirus pandemic on sports.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought life to a standstill and countries have gone into lockdown for some time now. The pandemic has cancelled several sporting events and even resulted in the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year.
Therefore even if sports look to comeback in full flow there will be strict restrictions on fans and most of the events will happen behind closed doors in the absence of spectators.
India’s Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has suggested thinking about plans to make things interesting even without fans in the stadiums when eventually athletes return to action. The ministry has banned spectators for any event be it cricket matches and it was one of the first decisions taken by them even before the events came to standstill.
“Not only sports, life has changed, we can’t live like before and we have to make sure to follow the new norms and sports also will come up in a new way,” said Kiren Rijiju on e-agenda Aaj Tak.
“We will have to plan to make sports more interesting without fans. Stadiums in future will not be filled with fans.”
He also highlighted his aim of promoting other sports which does not get much attention among the spectators. He gave an example of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which brings a lot of revenue in its television rights and in exchange gets a very rich and immersive coverage. He assures that other sports will also get television coverage in the near future.
Kiren Rijiju said, “IPL is rich and gets revenue from television but there are others which need help. We will help those sports and federations. We have big aims and want India to be in the top-ten nations’ list in terms of winning medals.”
The Sports Minister again repeated himself that the ministry is planning a phase-wise re-opening of the training camps, where the athletes qualified for Olympics or the ones on the verge of qualification will be given priority.
“First of all, we will identify those players and teams who have qualified for the Olympics. Second, those who are going to play the Olympic qualification competitions, we will allow these athletes to practice. We won’t be able to open camps for those who are not in qualification reckoning soon. Maybe that will go beyond August or September.” concluded Rijiju.