Mumbai: Sports minister Ajay Maken said his ministry has asked the Indian Olympic Association to take a strong decision in the wake of the outcry over Dow Chemicals' association with the 2012 London Olympics.

"It is an emotional and sensitive matter as it is related to the Bhopal Gas tragedy. It has to be handled with care. We have asked the IOA to take a strong decision on the issue. The IOC will be meeting on 15th of this month to take a decision on it," Maken told reporters on Thursday.

Asked whether the Indian contingent should participate in protest in case they decide to be a part of the Olympics, he said, "It's not the right time for me to comment. The Olympics is a long time away. I hope there is a decision in our favour by that time."

Maken's comments came in the backdrop of the demands seeking that Dow Chemicals, which has bought Union Carbide that was involved in the Bhopal Gas tragedy, should dissociate itself from the quadrennial sporting extravaganza of which it is one of the sponsors.

Maken, who was in the city to watch the World Series Boxing match between Mumbai Fighters and LA Matadors, said the government also supported the World Series Hockey but could not interfere in the ongoing clash between the organisers of the event - Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India.

"We have offered the Major Dhyanchand stadium, which is the best in the country, to WSH to organise matches. We are helping by providing infrastructure. But which player plays and who not, who should be selected for the national team and who not that the government cannot decide.

"The government should stay out of it otherwise it would be too much of interference. It is upto Hockey India and the players to decide in which event they want to participate. Hopefully, better sense will prevail," he added.

Maken had words of praise for the Mumbai Fighters, India's only WS franchisee, and said he had offered them the Indira Gandhi indoor stadium for organizing matches.

"I learnt that one of the WSB fights is going to happen in Delhi in January. I have offered them to organise the match at the Indira Gandhi indoor stadium which has a 25,000 spectator capacity. If not they can also have the Talkatora stadium," he added.

(Agencies)