The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra is planning to bid to host the 2036 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He claimed that India is in conversation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about hosting the Games.
Batra revealed that Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium would be his choice to host the Olympic opening ceremony.
"The Olympic Games can be hosted in three or four cities in India, and the IOA is in talks with the IOC about India's possible bid for 2036. Being the President of IOA, my discussions with the IOC happen on the subject... 2036 Olympics will be finalised in two three years, and we are currently in discussions with the IOC." Batra was quoted by PTI as saying.
Batra did not disclose which cities were under consideration. However, he has already identified Ahmedabad as the prime location if India gets hosting rights under the IOC’s new rules.
The IOC has scrapped the traditional bidding process in favor of a more targeted approach with selected countries.
"Right now, if someone asks me about the venue for the Olympics Opening Ceremony, it is definitely going to be the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad," Batra said.
The Motera Stadim, now called the Narendra Modi Stadium, is the largest arena in the world with a seating capacity of 132,000 spectators. It was rebuilt and completed in February 2020.
"There is no better stadium better suited to hosting the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in India. I can’t say what will happen by 2036. But I will be proposing Ahmedabad as the venue for the Opening Ceremony,” Batra added.
The Indian Olympic Association president also revealed that Ahmedabad would host athletics during the Olympics. He emphasized that athletics is the biggest event at the Olympics, and Motera is the right venue for it.
"When you say Opening Ceremony, it means athletics will also be held at the Motera venue. And athletics is the biggest event,” Batra told PTI.
India faces tough competition from Qatar, Indonesia and Turkey for 2036 Olympic bid
Batra claimed that India faces stiff competition from Qatar, Indonesia and some other Asian countries to host the Olympics. Russia is also preparing a bid, while Istanbul in Turkey is expected to renew its decades-long quest to be awarded the Olympics.
Berlin and London are other European cities which have been mentioned as possible candidates.