Despite strong intentions to bid for the 2026 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials have yet to submit any proposals to the Indian government to secure necessary approvals to move forward with the projects.
The sports ministry advised parliament Thursday that “no proposal has been received in this ministry from the IOA for permission to apply for hosting of the Olympics/Youth Olympics in India,” according to the Times of India.
“As per the guidelines issued by this ministry, the IOA has to seek approval of the government before bidding for such events,” the ministry responded when asked about the status of the 2026 bid.
The IOC was set to open the 2032 bid process in 2023 with a host city decision expected in 2025. However, the IOC changed its bidding rules last month, essentially opening the 2032 bid process immediately with a host city selection occurring any time.
Interested bids are now moving quickly to join the emerging race.
Australian IOC Vice President Jim Coates hinted the 2032 Games could be sited as early as 2020.
Coates has been pushing to expedite a bid by Australia’s South East Queensland Capital Brisbane, and a feasibility study boosted by a (AUD) $10 million government contribution is underway. On Thursday Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for high-level talks about the bid which has received government support at all levels.
Cities from China, Indonesia, Germany, and jointly from North and South Korea are also considering bids.
The IOA may still be forging ahead, even before the government gets involved as the IOC also suggested they may engage interested projects secretly before making plans public. IOC member Dick Pound said last month “If things get out too early it can be more problematic than ever.”
Government approval may be sought at a later stage.
Last year IOA president Narinder Batra revealed a road map to the 2032 Olympic Games that includes hosting the Youth Olympics in 2026 and the Asian Games in 2030. Last month he announced that Mumbai would bid to host the 2023 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session.
Batra, who was sworn in an an IOC member last month has received the backing of the other Indian IOC member, Nita Ambani. IOC President Thomas Bach during a visit to India last year said that the nation had the potential to bid for the Games.
The bid hit a roadblock earlier this year when the IOA was banned from engaging in any talks with the IOC about bidding for future Olympic events after a Visa dispute with Pakistani athletes prior to a shooting event to be held in Delhi. But the ban was lifted by the IOC on June 18 after Indian officials agreed to allow access to all qualified athletes to events in the future, according to IOC rules.
Paris has been chosen to host the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles will stage the Summer Games in 2028.