In its annual general meeting here on December 30, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will decide on whether it should approach the government for a bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026. Also on the agenda will be its proposal to have India opt-out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
Rajeev Mehta, the IOA secretary-general, said it was up to the members to approve or reject the proposal to bid for the hosting rights of the Games in 2026. “On our part, the intent (to bid for 2026 CWG) is a serious one. We need the approval of the General House before going to the government with the proposal to bid for the Games. Let us see what happens,” Mehta told PTI.
Last month, Mehta had announced the association’s intent to bid for the Games, in the presence of president Narinder Batra and visiting Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin and CEO David Grevemberg. “We will first take approval from the general assembly of the IOA and then will approach the government. If the government allows, we can host the Games,” Mehta had said.
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The host city of the 2026 Games was initially to be selected at the 2019 CGF General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda. This was postponed; it was later decided that it will be announced next year.
Boycotting the Games
Batra had announced that the decision to boycott the 2022 Games owing to the dropping of shooting stood, but that a final decision on it would be taken by the IOA General Assembly. “We made the proposal [of withdrawal] six months back. We will take into consideration the discussions we had [with the CGF chief and CEO]. We will go back to the General Assembly and take a decision,” Batra had said.
The meeting will also discuss IOA’s bid to host a session of the International Olympic Council in 2023, India’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, and disputes pertaining to some National Sports Federations and the contentious draft National Sports Code (2017).
The Chef-de-Mission’s report on the performance of Indian athletes in the recently-concluded South Asian Games in Kathmandu and preparations for the 36th National Games to be held in Goa next year are also among the topics to be discussed.