Indian administration decided to support Maldives in paving the way to establish facilities in the country to hold the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG).
Although President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih previously gave the green signal for Maldives to bid for the opportunity to hold the games, India’s decision was the outcome of the meeting between President Solih and top members of Indian sports community held in Bangalore, India, on late Sunday.
Details about the meeting will be revealed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment at an imminent press conference held at the ministry.
Maldives Olympic Committee presented the idea to the government of Maldives to create a committee to take into account the facilities already available currently in the country and the facilities that are further required to submit a high quality bid. The president approved the idea.
Moreover, Maldives expressed interest in bidding to hold the 2019 IOIG in 2015. However, there was no progress due to time expiring to submit the bid and lack of support from the administration at the time.
The Indian Ocean Island Games is a sporting event held since 1979 comprised of island nations located in the Indian Ocean east of Africa. The games were held in Reunion Islands, Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles.
Maldives’ best performance in an international sporting event is in the IOIG - with Hassan Saaid winning Maldives’ first Gold Medal in an international setting in the 100 metre run in 2015. Additionally, the Badminton and Table Tennis teams won several medals in the games.
President Solih’s official visit to Indian was in response to an invitation by the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI). Chief Executive Officer of BCCI Rahul Johri and Indian Premiere League (IPL) CEO Hemang Amin met with President Solih on Sunday.
In the meeting, an assessment on expanding Maldives Cricket was done and it was decided that a BCCI diplomat would arrive in Maldives to work on strategic planning. The Indian administration previously agreed to constructing a cricket stadium in Maldives.
Moreover, in accordance with the agreement to hold a cricket series between the two countries, an Air India team including Indian star cricketer Yuvraj Singh recently arrived in Maldives to play the inauguration match. President Solih also took part in the sporting event.
During the course of his official visit, the President also attended Sunday’s IPL match won by Royal Challengers over Chennai Super Kings. Prior to the match the captains of the two teams presented President Solih with jerseys signed by the two teams’ players and a cricket bat.