With so much palpable tension between the two nations, sport has often acted as a neutralising agent, giving solace to people in dire times. Apart from the border interactions, sport and probably music has been the only outlet of conversation between the two nations. But with Pakistan continuing to indulge in ceasefire violations, the Indian government has stood firm on its decision of not holding any bilateral series between the two nations, and also threatening to pull out of tournaments that involve Pakistan.
The Sports Minister has now come forward and supported the government’s stance on avoiding any sports related relationship with Pakistan until they do away with state sponsored terrorism.
Addressing the media after the Pakistan Wrestling Federation claimed that the visas for their wrestlers were denied for the Asian Championships, Vijay Goel said that things won’t work out until Pakistan stops state sponsored terrorism. He feels such decisions would make the people of Pakistan to force the government to seriously counter cross border terrorism.
“Terrorism and sports can’t go along and Pakistan should understand that. The relation between India and Pakistan can be cordial only after Pakistan stops sponsoring cross-border terrorism”
“India takes these things very seriously. We are not at loss, our decision to stop bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan will force Pakistani people to put pressure on their government to act against terrorism. The entire world knows Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism” he added.
When asked about the preparations for the U-17 FIFA World Cup, Goel said that things were not perfect as of now, but will be once he is done visiting all the stadiums.
“After my people gave me a report that things are not going well with regard to preparation (of Fifa World Cup), I myself decided to visit different venues. I met the Sports Minister and Chief Minister of Kerala recently. I will visit Kolkata on May 5.”
“I am confident that everything will be in place,” he added.