Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: While Incheon, a port city in northwestern Korea, is all set to hold the 17th Asian Games later this year, speculations are rife that India would be bidding for the 2019 Asian Games.
According to a report published in an English daily, India is keen on hosting the 2019 Asian Games in the national capital, New Delhi. It is seen as a move to demonstrate the Narendra Modi government`s organizing capabilities and restore the country`s image spoiled by the 2010 Commonwealth Games – an event which was marred by financial irregularities.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, N Ramachandran categorically denied claims of Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta that India would be bidding for the 2019 Asian Games following the withdrawal of original hosts Vietnam stating that matter was not discussed at all.
"The IOA has not discussed it at all, so it would not be fair for me to discuss this," IOA chief N Ramachandran said on Day 4 of the SJFI`s 37th national convention here last evening.
Earlier, Mehta said that in case of India holding the 2019 Asiad, the IOA will not exercise financial powers and will only organise the multi-sporting event. It is believed that remark was a direct result of the organisation`s bad experience thanks to the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scandal.
"We want to host 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam`s withdrawal. We will take a final decision in IOA General Body Meeting which will be held most likely next month (June). We are waiting for the new Government to be formed and hoping to get its approval," Mehta told PTI in an interview last month.
Indonesia has expressed its willingness to step in as a replacement and a final decision on the host city will be decided on September 20 during the Incheon Asian Games. India had bid for hosting this year`s Asian Games but had lost out to Incheon, in 2007.
Ramachandran said his main mission during his tenure at the IOA is to make the association financially independent and free it from depending on the Centre for funding athletes.
With agency inputs