Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said that National Sports Federations (NSFs) will be allowed organise sporting events given that Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are followed.
On Sunday, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) permitted sports complexes and stadias to opened laying down new guidelines to reopen but without spectators during the lockdown period till May 31.
"All the sport disciplines are not the same, for example, weightlifting or any sports which do not have physical contact with each other it has its own way of starting as per its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)," Rijiju told ANI.
"But other sports like boxing, wrestling, hockey, football, in these games you have physical contact involved so there are different procedures for different sporting events. That's why right now we can start events but they need to be held without spectators, for example, online Wushu Championship is going on, if any sports federation wants to organise a sporting event they can do it in a stadium but they have to first ensure that SOP is maintained and being followed properly," Rijiju added.
"Secondly all the conduct has to carried out with certain discipline, you can't just open everything up. In SAI, we are starting with elite athletes those who are Olympics bound and those who are going to participate in international championships in the near future, so first of all the elite athletes and secondly those who are in our national centre of excellence and then there are many other hostels and athletes who have to be picked up under Khelo India schemes, we can't allow all of them to train together so will have to do it in a staggered manner," the minister added.
The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in India also clarified why gymming and swimming are allowed under the current rules.
"We are doing it in a phased manner, we have given permission for the activities to kickstart but you need to maintain control and take the states in confidence as some regions also fall under the red zones so you have to be more careful about the activities being conducted in red zones. Sporting activities have to start because if you don't play, if you don't do activities it also has negative effects overall on your physical condition and mental condition," Rijiju said.
"Each sport has their own training programme, you need to careful when it goes to gymming and swimming as everyone will use the game gym and same goes for swimming as many swimmers will be using the same pool," he added.
Rijiju also gave an update on when swimming will resume.
"I am not an expert about the technical part how you can sanitise the pool, many people have advised that gymming and swimming should be allowed to do after some time, health and safety of everyone is our top priority and we cannot compromise that. New guidelines will come whenever there will be more relaxations, the country has benefitted under the lockdown, in Western countries many people have died, and as compared to them, the death rate in India is very less," Rijiju said.