Bach, who took over as IOC president in 2013, has been invited to visit India for a meeting with Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi. The date of the meeting has been tentatively fixed on April 27. This will be Bach’s first visit to India after becoming IOC president.

Sources in the IOA said that the government would sound out Bach that the country is keen to bid for 2024 Olympic Games though they refused to come on record. No government official was also willing to come on record on this.

However, they said that Bach has been very keen on the development of Olympic sports in the country and play a big role in the Olympic movement in the coming years.

“The IOA and the Government of India have invited IOC chief Dr. Thomas Bach for a meeting with the honourable Prime Minister of India in the last week of this month to discuss about the development of sports in India,” Ramachandran said.

“There was a tentative date. But our Prime Minister and the IOC chief are big personalities and so their offices will decide the exact date,” said Ramachandran.

India has time till September 15 if it wants to bid for the 2024 Olympics and the process to send the ‘Expression of Interest’ has already started in January.

Italy’s Rome, Germany’s Hamburg and American city of Boston have expressed their desire to the IOC to host the 2024 Games. Kenya’s Nairobi, Morocco’s Casablanca, Qatar’s Doha, France’s capital Paris and Russia’s St Petersburg may also join the race in the coming months.

The interested cities for 2024 Games will have to submit ‘Application Files and Guarantee Letters’ from their respective governments to the IOC latest by January next year.

After a Working Group assesses the applications, the IOC Executive Board will announce the shortlisted cities around May next year. The world body will then vote to select the host city during the 130th IOC Session in Lima, Peru, on September 15, 2017.

Last year, the government had refused to endorse the IOA’s move to host the 2018 Asian Games, reportedly on the ground of huge cost to be incurred though the government was just settling down at that time after the general elections.

IOA senior vice-president Virendra Nanavati said that the sports fraternity in the country will be happy if the government of India decides to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Significantly, the host city of 2024 Olympic Games may spend less than their previous counterparts as the IOC has adopted a slew of reforms recently, including financial support from the parent world body to the NOC hosting the Games.

The IOC will contribute approximately USD 1.5 billion to the organisation of the 2024 Olympic Games. Potential bid cities are encouraged to place greater emphasis on the use of existing venues, and temporary and demountable venues where no long-term need exists or can be justified.

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