CHENNAI:A day after Durban was stripped of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said it wouldn't mind discussing the possibility of hosting the Games. IOA secretary general Rajiv Mehta said though it is very premature and nothing is certain as of now, yet it can be discussed. Everything depends on other stakeholders, and of course the Indian government.
“We have just received the letter officially declaring that Durban is not going to host the Games. So we have not even thought about anything as of now,” said Mehta. “We have to discuss this with the president, and then we can put this up for the general house to decide, before taking a final decision. We have to discuss this with the government and seek clearance as well. Without government support, we will not be able to bid. We have to see how it goes.”
However, other officials of the IOA were non-committal as of now. When Express got in touch with Sports Minister Vijay Goel, he said they have not discussed this at all. He did not want to say anything further.
Durban pulled out because of financial reasons. Interestingly, though other stakeholders signed to host the Games, the South African government did not as yet. Durban was awarded the Games in September 2015, and was supposed to be the first African city to host the event.
Liverpool and Birmingham have also shown interest, and so have Australia. New Delhi hosted the 2010 CWG successfully and in 2016, Guwahati and Shillong hosted the South Asian Games. Infrastructure-wise, Delhi has some of the best facilities in the country. However, the embers of the CWG scandal are yet to be doused. It remains to be seen who touches the fire this time.