Speaking at the ‘9th Global Sports Summit – TURF 2019, organized by FICCI, jointly with Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Government of Odisha, the sports minister said that Tokyo 2020 is the immediate target for the government. However, there are certain limitations with regard to existing talent. “We can’t create champions overnight as it takes years and need to ensure that there is an entire infrastructure from training to society support in place.”

He stated that Paris Olympics in 2024 and Los Angeles Olympics in 2028 will provide a good opportunity to significantly improve India’s performance. “If we can’t prepare for next 8 years then we have to blame ourselves in terms of making policy, setting directions, channelizing resources. We must ensure that India is no more a country which is not taken seriously in Olympics,” said Mr Rijiju.

He said that there is no lack of resources or talent in the country and invited the corporate sector to invest and reap the benefits. “Sports is a glamour as well as big opportunity to do business. There are unlimited opportunities in India, and we must be able to unleash the talent we have,” added Mr Rijiju.

Highlighting the sports potential in various states, Mr Rijiju said that each medium-sized State in India is larger than 50 per cent of the countries on this planet and urged each State to adopt and promote one sport as its core.

FICCI president Sandip Somany was of the view that India having the huge young population is in a very advantageous position This demographic dividend is set to play a big role in making India a $5 trillion economy and fitness will be a critical element in achieving this target.

Senior Advisor to the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and Founder of Afghanistan Sports Federation Ajmal Ghani, informed that his said that the government has allocated 150-300 acres of land in 8 different zones to be built and invited Indian companies to invest in sports sector. He said that Afghanistan has some of the most liberal investment laws.

Odisha sports minister Tusharkanti Behera, said that the launch of Fit India campaign has made a significant impression on the masses. The state is also setting-up various training centers to target the youth.