No sarees for Asian Games Opening Ceremony either, says IOA

Remember the entire controversy caused before the Commonwealth Games as a consequence of the attire of female athletes? That is set to see a repeat as the Indian Olympic Association now selects a trouser and a blazer for female athletes for the Asian Games too.

Previously, the IOA had mentioned that the decision was taken at the time of the Commonwealth Games because it was believed that wearing a saree would cause a major inconvenience to felame athletes. This belief is not unfounded and is based on a number of actions by Indian female athletes at various World Level competitions.

For example, tennis player Sunitha Rao was seen sporting a tracksuit at the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony. Jwala Gutta caused a mini-uproar among traditionalists after she was spotted manually carrying her blazer at the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony.

The change in attire has reportedly come as a decision from the IOA after feedback from the female athletes who have all agreed that the Commonwealth Games 2018 would certainly be the way to go forward now for the subsequent major tournaments. If one remembers correctly, the men and women had donned similar outfits with blazer and trousers with the women sporting a dupatta along with it.

Back in March, when the decision was first announced, it drew in mixed opinons based on the fact that sarees are inherently seen as a part and parcel of Indian culture. Conservatives bound by tradition were of the opinion that since the athletes were out there essentially representing India, a Westernised outfit made little sense.

The other side of the coin was supporting the female athletes if they wanted to wear something comfortable as was their right.

The 2018 Asian Games are scheduled to take place from August 18 to September 2.The Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, located in Central Jakarta,is where the action will take place in Indonesia