Friday, June 15, 2007


The IOA (Indian Olympic Association) is said to have inked a deal with FIA to bring F1 to India. The news channels are reporting the likely staging a race in New Delhi by 2009. For this purpose, a new stadium is to be constructed.

This is where things are likely to be messy and true to Indian style, full of politics. Mani Shankar Iyer, the Union Minster in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports is at loggerheads with Suresh Kalmadi, the man who controls the Olympic movement in India. Reportedly, Iyer is not in favour of staging costly sporting ‘spectacles’ when at the grassroots there is no support to sports and sportspersons, in terms of facilities. To a large extent, this is the truth.

About 600 acres of land is needed to construct the race course and the Indian promoters have to pay an annual licence fee of $30 million US.

But unless Kalmadi and company stage and host events, they are not going to make the money. It is only through such events that bosses of sports bodies in the country like to show their gratitude to the supporters. Not to mention the reaping from the spurt in the real estate prices.

So a race is likely to take place for the actual race.

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