New Delhi: “Dead serious" about bringing the Olympics to India in 2032, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has submitted a formal expression of interest to bid for the event and is set to approach the government for support.
IOA president Narinder Batra told the visiting International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach earlier this year that India would consider bidding for the 2032 Games. Bach had welcomed the move.
The IOA has already submitted a formal expression of interest to the IOC to bid for the 2032 Olympics.
Following that, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta had a meeting with the three-member bid committee of the IOC headed by Jacqueline Barrett, associate director Olympic Games/Olympic Candidatures, during the body’s board meeting in Tokyo earlier this month.
“We are dead serious about this bid for the 2032 Olympics. So, we have already submitted to the IOC the letter expressing our interest in hosting 2032 Olympic Games. I had a meeting with the Bid Committee of the IOC. They welcomed the move and said that India should have hosted an Olympic Games much earlier," Mehta told PTI.
New Delhi and Mumbai are the top two venues in the minds of the IOA top brass but other cities are also not ruled out. This is the first time that the IOA has officially submitted its expression of interest to host an Olympic Games to the IOC.
“At the first stage, a country expresses its interest to bid for the Olympics and at a later stage the proposed host city or cities is mentioned in the bid. India has not bid or expressed interest to host Olympic Games earlier," he added.
The bid process for the 2032 Olympics will start in 2022 and a host city will be announced in 2025. Indonesia has already submitted its expression of interest just after successfully hosting the Asian Games.
Chinese city Shanghai is also mulling over a bid, while Brisbane in Australia could be a contender to bring the Games back to the country for the first time since Sydney 2000. North and South Korea are considering a joint bid while Germany also plans to host the 2032 Games in 13 cities of the country.
The IOA has started planning for the bidding process and the upcoming general body meeting on 22 December is expected to pass a resolution to formally approach the government to back its plan.
“China has hosted Summer Olympics and is going to host Winter Olympics in 2022. If South Korea is hosting Olympics, why can’t India? We are a big country, an emerging economic superpower," Mehta added.