New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Friday that badminton world champions PV Sindhu had called him up asking if she should continue playing at the All England Championships amidst the rising concern over the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of Sindhu’s fellow badminton players have slammed the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for continuing to conduct tournaments when sports events around the world are getting cancelled or postponed.
“Sindhu called me and I told her that those who are playing outside in important tournaments like the Olympic qualifications can continue to play but they should follow guidelines of those respective countries. They should also take certain safety measures,” Rijiju told reporters after the General Body Meeting of the Sports Authority of India.
Rijiju said that he has clarified athletes who are competing abroad should continue.
“The Prime Minister is personally monitoring the situation. We are very serious. Public health is a concern and the government at the highest level has taken a decision to ensure that there are no events happening with large number of people gathering,” he said.
The Sports Ministry on Thursday had issued an advisory related to the outbreak of the pandemic in the country to all the National Sports Federations, Indian Olympics Association and Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Among others, it said that visa and quarantine rules implemented by the Health Ministry will have to be followed in the case of athletes and that spectators shall not be allowed into sports events.