May 15, 2013 1:09:54 am
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has set up a roadblock for India’s return to the international scene by urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ignore the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials and postpone the crucial meeting to next month on Wednesday.
However,the members of the Indian delegation were confident of arriving at a solution that will bring the country back to the Olympic fold,the OCA’s missive to its parent body notwithstanding. OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah requested IOC president Jacques Rogge to have another meeting next month in the presence of acting IOA president V K Malhotra and secretary general Randhir Singh. If the IOC accepts the recommendation,it will further delay the revoking of India’s suspension by the world governing body.
It must be noted that Randhir,who chose to skip Wednesday’s meeting,is also the secretary general of the OCA. “I would suggest that on May 15,2013,the meeting takes place only between the IOC and the government of India delegation headed by the (Sports) Minister,wherein they should be clearly informed that adherence to the Olympic Charter is of paramount importance,” Al-Sabah wrote in his letter. “Furthermore,a meeting should be called in the middle of June in Lausanne between the IOA,the government of India and the IOC/OCA where a further road map should be laid down for lifting the suspension of the IOA,” the letter stated.
Sports ministry confident
While the IOC did not comment on the issue,the sports ministry was confident that OCA’s letter would not damage India’s chances. “As far as we are concerned,the joint meeting will go on as scheduled. It is important that all parties sit across the table and come up with a solution. We have come here with a purpose of getting India back and I am confident of a positive outcome,” sports secretary P K Deb said from Lausanne.
The meeting will also be attended by Sports Minister Jitendra Singh,Beijing Games gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and sailor Malav Shroff.
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