Starting practice in haste can be fatal, IOA Secretary General

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Indian Olympic Association (IOA) general secretary Rajeev Mehta has warned against hurrying players to return to practice despite the ever-increasing cases of Kovid-19. Mehta said that a wrong move could weigh on his Olympic preparations, expressing his opposition when the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Thursday issued a standard operating procedure for the players, which is approved by the Sports Ministry.

Players must follow these while practicing despite the epidemic. So far more than 3500 people have died in the country due to this epidemic. Mehta told, "God forbid if a player's test comes positive then who will be responsible for it?" That unfortunate player will have to suffer and this may affect his Olympic preparations.

He said that players should not be forced to restore practice. Mehta said, "It is my personal view that players should not go for outdoor practice right now." Cases are increasing and will probably continue to increase in June as well. It has not yet reached its peak.

He said, 'Players are like children to us and so this is my advice to them. My views are not against anyone, but it should be left to the player to decide whether to start the practice or not. The Ministry of Home Affairs had given permission to open the sports complex and stadium in the fourth phase guidelines of lockdown, following which SAI issued the standard operating procedure. But there is no clarity as to when the practice will begin.

The verbal war between Narinder Batra and Mehta

The issue of starting the practice has also come to light among the top sports body of the country. IOA President Narinder Batra has taken over most of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General, which is also seen as an attempt to sidestep Mehta.

In the mail sent to Mehta, Batra said, 'I have decided to handle most of your workload. Your important advice will always be considered. With this, you will be able to spend more time with your family in Nainital and also concentrate on your business which is also in Uttarakhand.

In response, Mehta said, 'I also want to thank you that you have accepted that I have been working continuously for the IOA for the last few years. I also want to add that my aim is to promote sports and serve sports and I have dedicated my life to this.

Mehta said, "My family understands my commitment and supports my work and wants to see me as IOA Secretary-General living in Delhi and discharging my responsibilities." Mehta also told Batra that he should have contested the election of IOA Secretary General if he was equally willing to take up his responsibilities.

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