IOC President and Indian Prime Minister agree on closer cooperation - leaders cool speculation on Indian 2024 Olympic Games bid

27 Apr 2015

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in New Delhi, and reached agreement on closer cooperation between the IOC, the Indian government and the Indian Olympic Association. The agreement will put athletes at the centre and lay a solid foundation for the future of sport in the country.

During an hour-long meeting, the IOC President complimented the Indian Prime Minister on his great commitment to sport with regard to education and sports infrastructure, as well as promoting excellence for the athletes of India.

The Prime Minister emphasised the programmes his government is already undertaking, including the identification of 75 hopeful athletes for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016; the building of centres of excellence in sport; and the creation of a sports university, to name just a few.

The two leaders agreed that the IOC is ready to assist with these programmes. The Prime Minister thanked the IOC for its contribution to Olympic sport in his country.

President Bach said: that “sports development in India must tap the great potential of the 1.2 billion people in India, 80 million of whom are young people.  Youth was one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020, and this is a concrete example of how we can help.”

In this connection, the leaders agreed to sign a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between the government of India, the Indian Olympic Association and the IOC, which will define this cooperation.

This agreement will further support the assistance already given by the IOC through the IOA to different programmes all over India.

Following speculation over a possible Olympic bid, it was agreed that 2024 may be “too early”.  President Bach later told a press conference that he was aware of speculation, but that a bid for the Games in 2024 might be too early, and that building a candidature by 15 September might be very difficult. “The Prime Minister very much agreed with us,” he added.

Earlier in the day, President Bach met Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narayana Ramachandran and leaders of Indian sports federations. The IOA was recently reinstated by the IOC after having been suspended for its failure to comply with the Olympic Charter and its own statutes, relating specifically to good governance. President Bach said that the IOA now has to “find its feet”.

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