Hard Decisions Have to Be Taken For Big Goals: IOA Chief Narinder Batra on Hockey India CWG Pullout

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MUMBAI: Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra on Friday backed Hockey India’s decision to pull out of next year’s Commonwealth Games, saying “tough decisions” will have to be taken for bigger goals to ensure more focus on the Asiad. And that was not possible either. Send the team to the second line. Also Read – Hockey India Withdraws From 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games; COVID concerns cite discriminatory quarantine rules

Hockey India on Tuesday withdrew from the Games, saying only 32 days are available between the Birmingham Games (July 28 to August 8) and the Hangzhou Asian Games (September 10-25). Also Read – Once Cricket Is Included In The Olympics, India Will Participate: BCCI Secretary Jay Shah

HI said it was not ready to take the risk of sending its players to the UK, which has been worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Batra said it was the right decision that the Asiad Gold would ensure direct qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Also Read – IOA President Narinder Batra Requests Relaxation In Kovid Test For Athletes, Officials Returning From Japan

“You will peak at the Commonwealth Games, come back home for a break for 15 days. By the time you come back you have to go to China and you haven’t played for a month, so you want India to win,” said Batra, who is also the president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Batra made the remarks at a function organized by Maharashtra Olympic Association general secretary Namdev Shirgaonkar and Goa Olympic Association.

“These are some tough decisions that you have to take. I will be blamed and become unpopular among sportspersons because a gold medal (in CWG) can fetch you Rs 50 lakh. (But) I will have to decide what is more important.” And that is to qualify for the Olympics,” he explained.

“If you want to send a B team, we don’t have a B team with us right now. You can’t send players with bad fitness. Turns out it was 40 minutes, 0-0 and then 10 goals were scored. We’re in that kind of situation. Don’t want to,” he said.

Batra also urged all national federations to put national goals ahead of individuals and plan for at least a decade.

“We have to think about the country and not the individuals. Every federation should think like this. Some federations believe that athletes are because of them, they need to reverse this. Otherwise shut it all down,” he said.

“It’s not an emotional thing, you have to take tough decisions,” he said.

The long-serving administrator also admitted that he did not have good relations with IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, but insisted that it did not come in the way of the body’s functioning.

The IOA goes to polls in December and Batra and Mehta often get caught in a bitter war of words or one-off insults.

“We have differences but it is not that we do not talk. We talk and try to sort out differences but what can I do if someone backs down after a long discussion. I prefer people who can work straight and not lag behind,” he said.

“I have some faults, but I don’t shy away from commitments,” he said.

He also urged the national federations to ensure greater gender equality in administration and provide equal training and competition opportunities to their female athletes.

“Gender balance is another aspect we need to work on. You’re going to get a decree from the International Olympic Committee to rectify this very soon. If you are not training women in your sports, you are doing the country a loss because we will lose medals.

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