All national camps except those preparing for Olympics postponed due to COVID-19: Rijiju

March 17, 2020

SportsKiren Rijiju


All national camps, except for those where athletes are preparing for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, were on Tuesday postponed until further order in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said the academic training at the National Centre of Excellence and Sports Auhtority of India Training Centres will also be suspended.

“Due to Covid-19, SAI has decided that: All National camps shall be postponed except for those where athletes are being trained as part of Olympics #Tokyo2020 preparation,” Rijiju tweeted.

“Academic training in National Centre of Excellence & STCs shall be suspended till further order,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has decided to ask all its officials and employees to work from home from Wednesday in view of the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 pandemic which is causing deaths and institutional chaos across the globe.

Following in the footsteps of BCCI and All India Football Federation, which have asked employees to work from home on Monday, the BFI said it will also conduct its operations remotely from Wednesday.

“We have decided to take the work-from-home route from tomorrow. Some logistics needed to be sorted and that would be done by today. We will review the situation after a week and take a call on how long to continue with it after that,” BFI Executive Director R K Sacheti told PTI.

“If the situation remains the same, then work from home would be extended till end of March,” he added. India’s boxing calendar isn’t exactly chock-a-block at the moment after the end of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jordan earlier this month. India secured an unprecedented nine Tokyo spots in the event in Amman. Those who qualified included the legendary M C Mary Kom (51kg), world silver-medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) and Commonwealth Games champion Vikas Krishan (69kg). Therefore, the federation does not have any immediate logistics to take care of as far as travel plans of the pugilists are concerned.

“Unless absolutely necessary, employees won’t come to office from tomorrow given the health crisis. Hope it passes quickly and we can resume normal operations,” Sacheti said. However, the national federations of weightlifting and athletics said they will continue to operate from their respective offices.

More than 7,000 people have been killed globally by the deadly virus, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The number of infected has swelled to more than 175,000.

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