Gopichand proposes mini-leagues for resuming sporting contests

Pullela Gopichand.

New Delhi, (Asian independent) National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Wednesday said that holding a number of shorter leagues between players in each sport can compensate for the lack of national or state level competitions among the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It may not be possible to organise massive national or state level tournaments like we used to do in pre-Covid days due to social distancing norms,” said Gopichand on a webinar titled ‘Sports, Fitness, Lockdown – What is the way forward?’

“But we can surely look at a number of leagues in each sport among top players, as per their levels.”

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla backed the proposal, revealing that his federation had been working on similar lines to keep his athletes in fine fettle and top form with an eye on the Olympics next year.

“Our elite athletes have been in camps since June and will go into deep training from October. We have just chalked out our detailed programme calendar and we are hoping to see serious competition from January onwards,” Sumariwalla said.

“We are confident of a much better show due to the delay in the start of the Olympics as our young athletes will be more mature and better prepared,” he said.