The South Asian Games scheduled to be held in India next February has been postponed for the third time.
General Secretary of the Maldives Olympic Committee Ahmed ‘Marey’ Marzooq revealed that the Indian Olympic Association had informed that it is unable to host the games in February and hence has been postponed to next September.
“We had a teleconference meeting with the Indian Olympic Association and the Pakistan Olympic Committee. During the meeting India had told us that the games cannot be hosted next February. Now it has been scheduled for next September,” Marzooq explained.
It is believed that the reason behind the continued delay in hosting the games is the strife between the Indian government and the Olympic Association. The games which had been originally scheduled for this June had first been put off until October.
The member countries had earlier agreed to give the chance to Nepal if India is unable to host the games. However, India has refused to defer the opportunity to Nepal, even though it is ready to take up lead in hosting the games.
“India can’t host the games in February, but doesn’t want to give it to another nation either. That’s why it has been postponed. If India had officially expressed the inability to host the games, Nepal was ready and willing to hold the games in February,” Marzooq detailed.
He further said that the matter would be up for serious discussion during the General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia scheduled to be held in November.
Marzooq stressed that the prolonged delay in holding the games was a major blow and pointed out that the failure by India to host the scheduled games as the leading nation of the region was a serious issue.
“It truly is a major blow that the games has been delayed. This has seriously hindered the preparations of the athletes. Even our teams had commenced preparations before it was postponed. All the athletes participating in the games will be adversely affected because of this,” he said.
“India is a founding member of the South Asian Federation. It’s really disappointing that India hasn’t hosted the games on the scheduled date. Many people will now lose confidence in both the South Asian Federation and the games itself.”
Some nations had begun preparations to the games before the dates changed for the third time.
The last games was held in Bangladesh capital Dhaka back in 2010. If India does indeed host the games, it is scheduled to be held in its capital New Delhi. According to the Indian media, as India had hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010, the country had few preparations to make in order to host the South Asian games this year.