Kerala sports minister to seek Centre’s nod to be official representative in Tokyo Olympics

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Kerala Sports Minister V Abdurahimanwill soon fly to Japan to cheer the sports stars from the state during the upcoming Tokyo Olympics at his own expense, if everything goes as planned.

He said he would seek the Centre’s permission on Tuesday to travel to Japan as the official representative of the state government for the sports gala, which is scheduled from July 23 to August 8.

Interestingly, if the permission was granted, he would be the first minister in the second Pinarayi Vijayan government to go for a foreign tour after it came to power in May this year.

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The minister said he had already received an invitation from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to travel to Japan in connection with the Olympics.

“I will seek the Centre’s nod today (Tuesday) to travel to Japan. If it is granted, I will be the official representative of the state government.

But, the final decision of the travel will be taken only after considering the COVID-19 situation also,” Abdurahiman told PTI.

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He said the intention of his proposed trip is to extend support and maximum encouragement to the nine sports persons from the state who are participating in various categories.

Asked about spending money from own pocket for the trip, the minister said it was a time when the government was strictly implementing austerity measures in view of financial constraints and pandemic blues.

“That’s why I have decided to go spending money on my own. Isn’t it good to go and support our sports star while they are participating in such mammoth events?” he asked.

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The nine Keralite sports stars qualified to take part in the Tokyo Olympics are P R Sreejesh, Sajan Prakash, M Sreeshankar, K T Irfan, Jabir M P, Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Nirmal Noah Tom and Alex Antony.

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