Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju, on Thursday, has claimed that he would fail as the minister of sports; if India cannot finish within the top 10 of the medals tally by 2028 Olympics. Rijiju also mentioned that the country cannot afford to lag behind in sports, as the prevailing mediocrity in the management of National Sports Federations (NSF) is just “unacceptable”.
During the unveiling programme of the logo of India House which is to be established in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, Rijiju said, “Our country is set to become the third largest economy in the world by 2022 or 2024, we will be in top three in many fields in the next four-five years. There is no reason why we cannot do well in Olympics,”
“2020 Olympics is too near but by 2024 or in 2028, India should be in top 10 in medals tally. It is our target. If India cannot do this, I will feel my becoming Sports Minister is of no use,” he added.
He then asked the IOA to ensure that the standard of governance in NSFs is high and specially warned that no athlete’s career should be ruined because of any bureaucrats or coach.
“Mediocrity in sports management will not be accepted. This is very much needed if we want to become a sports powerhouse in the near future. The IOA and the NSFs will have to have high standards of governance. I am happy with the functioning of the IOA. I want the IOA and NSFs to follow high standards of governance.”
“Ego of those in the sports management does not serve any purpose. If the career of an athlete is ruined because of the ego of people in the management, the government will not tolerate it. Our approach is athlete centric and sports centric,” he said.