Sports Ministry has issued a directive to all National Sports Federations (NSFs) asking them to not conduct any tournament or selection trials till April 15 as part of measures taken to mitigate the threat of coronvirus. Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown Curbs Will be Further Relaxed After June 21, Confirms Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa
Globally, all major events have either been cancelled or postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 2,00,000 and left almost 9,000 dead. Also Read - Assam Extends Lockdown Restrictions Till June 21, Revises Corona Curfew Timing For Various Districts | Check Full Guidelines Here
“Today we have issued another fresh order from the ministry that all sports events and training centres will remain closed till April 15,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju told reporters on Thursday. “We have also ensured that no athletes or technical staff travel from one place to another. Any mass gathering is completely prohibited. Even the hostels in training centres are closed.” Also Read - Taj Mahal To Reopen For Tourists From Tomorrow, 650 People Allowed At a Time | Full Guidelines Here
“The only exception is for those who have qualified for Olympics or on the verge of qualifications. They are very critical because if they miss out on anything it will have a huge impact on our preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. So only these athletes and their coaches are allowed to practice in their designated national camps. For that also the coming of outsiders into their camps is strictly prohibited,” he added.
In a letter to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and NSFs, the Ministry said, “All sport organisations and their affiliate units are advised against holding any sports events, including competitions or selection trials till 15th April, 2020.”
The ministry’s two-point directive states: “No exposure to athlete be allowed from outside in the campus where training is underway. No coach, technical/support staff athlete etc presently not in training camp and not staying in the training campus be allowed to interact or mingle with trainee athletes without following quarantine protocols.”
The directives though have put the future of Indian Grand Prix of athletics in doubt which was to get underway from Friday.