CHENNAI : The shadows that hang over the Goa National Games grew darker with the state government confirming in writing that they were unable to stick to the proposed November dates. This effectively means that the next edition of the Games could be delayed by a further two years, as there is no precedent of holding it in an Olympic year. The last edition of the Games was held in Kerala in 2015.
A letter, written by Goa deputy chief minister Manohar Ajgaonkar to IOA president Narinder Batra on Thursday, confirmed the statement that chief minister Pramod Sawant had made in the assembly earlier this week. “The matter of hosting of the National Games in Goa came up for detailed discussions in the Goa Legislative Assembly on 24/07/2019 and there was unanimity in the house that the government should have 5-6 months to conduct the National Games in a successful manner,” the letter said. “In view of the above, we reiterate that the Government of Goa is willing to host the Games but, with at least 5-6 months lead time for preparation for the conduct of Games.”
Ajgaonkar also took issue with the fine that the IOA had levied on Goa for the delay. “Now coming to the demand payment of added hosting rights fee/penalty despite reluctance from various quarters and in order to break the impasse, the State Government agreed to make all efforts to get maximum revenue through sponsorship opportunities for IOA. Leave aside appreciating this gesture, the IOA had yet again tried to fix unrealistic deadlines to pay this sum,” the letter said.
“It would not be out of context to point out that if the argument of the incremental cost of the IOA and other state governments owing to postponement is to be believed, as Goa was to host the 36th edition of the National Games in 2011 and the previous States delayed in the hosting, similar repatriations ought to have been considered to be payable to the State of Goa, as the operational and construction costs have since then increased tremendously. You may also inform the state government, as to how many such states were imposed such fines/penalty/added hosting rights fee for delay in hosting the Games and what amounts were paid?”
Batra though hit back, asking the Goa Government to step aside if they can’t hold it. “During my tenure itself, they have shifted it five times. If they can’t hold it, they should back out,” he said. The IOA, in reply, took exception to the letter. “I’m disappointed with your way of communication and it shows and reflects your immaturity in communication,” said Batra’s reply, addressed to VM Prabhu Desai, executive director of Sport Authority of Goa. “The fact is that you officers of the Government of Goa are responsible for this mess because you come and promise IOA everything and then in front of Goa CM & CS you back out and deny everything.”
IOA pulls out of CGF General Assembly
New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association on Friday pulled out of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s General Assembly in September to protest the dropping of shooting from the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games roster. In a letter addressed to Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive officer David Grevemberg, the IOA also withdrew the nomination of its secretary general Rajeev Mehta for the election of a regional vice-president as well as that of Namdev Shirgaonkar for Sports Committee membership. “The leadership of CGA India has taken the decision (of) withdrawal of participation in the CGF General Assembly to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in September,” the IOA said in the letter.