Official Moves to Calm India Olympics Boycott Fears
One may legitimately question the use of sports as a political tool. Actually, this is one of the most sensitive issues when it comes to sports diplomacy. Is it a good mix, or should sports and diplomacy be kept completely separated? This question seems highly significant regarding the recent threat raised by Indian voices to boycott the next Olympics, which will be held in London. A mini-crisis occurred on Saturday 26 November 2011, as Lord Coe, the Head of the 2012 Games, announced a controversial sponsorship deal with a chemical company, Dow Chemical. One of the latter’s subsidiary firm was involved in the Bophal industrial disaster a few years ago, which led to the death of 25,000 people in India.
The situation looks a bit better in the last few days, as the Indian Olympic Association gathered and decided not to discuss a potential boycott. Despite this relative “détente”, some sportsmen and politicians remain skeptical or even angry about this partnership. For instance, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, recently urged the government to boycott the Games, claiming that this money should go to the Bhopal survivors. The full articles are available here: [1, 2]