By Prashant Keni, SJFI Secretary
MUMBAI, October 11, 20223 – International Sports Press Association (AIPS) President, Mr. Gianni Merlo, flew into Mumbai, India, early this morning to cover the 141st IOC Session and IOC Executive Board meeting in the next few days.
This was Mr. Merlo’s maiden visit to India and he rightfully landed in the city widely known as India’s financial capital. Mr. Merlo is putting up at Sofitel Hotel, which is very close to the IOC Session venue, Jio World Centre.
In fact the President of the IOC, Mr. Thomas Bach, landed in Mumbai a day earlier to attend the crucial IOC Executive Board meeting and the Session.
A four-member team of Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) and Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai (SJAM) met the AIPS President and extended a traditional welcome by presenting him silk shawls one from the SJFI and one from the SJAM. Former SJFI President and current SJAM President, Mr. G. Viswanath, presented Mr. Merlo a 1999 ICC World Cup tie of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Others who visited Mr. Merlo were, SJFI Secretary, Mr. Prashant Keni, Senior sports writer of the Times of India, Mr. Gaurav Gupta, and veteran sports scribe, Mr. Gordon D’Costa.
Despite landing in the small hours of the day, Mr. Merlo received Indian sports journalists warmly and spent an hour and 45 minutes discussing with them many topics concerning sports and journalism. Being the head of the sports journalists’ organisation, Mr. Merlo spoke on many interesting subjects that varied from 141st IOC Session to AIPS Awards, Olympics, the changing world of sports journalism, Centenary of AIPS in 2024, next AIPS Congress in Spain and AIPS’ excellent relationship with IOC and international sports federations.
India’s national broadcaster, Doordarshan, is set to interview the AIPS Chief on Thursday morning before he gets busy with the IOC activities. SJAM is planning to meet Mr. Merlo during his week-long stay in Mumbai along with its executive committee members.
India is currently hosting the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and one of India’s crucial games is coming up against Pakistan in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
Mr. Merlo will fly out to Milan on the evening of October 17, the concluding day of the IOC Session.