IOA failed to submit comprehensive proposal for Asiad: Sarbananda Sonowal

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 08, 2014, 19:09 PM IST

New Delhi: Absence of a comprehensive proposal from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) prevented the country from bidding for the 2019 Asian Games, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Tuesday.

India failed to submit the bid despite seeking extension from July 1 deadline set by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

"It was a question of time constraint. My ministry was waiting for a comprehensive proposal from the Indian Olympic Association but it was not carried out," said Sonowal on the sidelines of an event organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Football Link.

Asked whether IOA was solely responsible for India`s failed attempt at hosting the Asiad for the second time after 1982, Sonowal said, "you can guess it (who is responsible). But the fact is that the matter is over. There is no point blaming each other. We should think for something better in the future."

India joined the race for the 2019 Games in the wake of Vietnam`s pullout. The minister said the government was still committed to hosting a big event. "We are looking forward to host a big event. Probably we will host the biggest mega event in the world."

The sports ministry is expected to get an additional Rs.100 crore in the July 10 budget over and above the Rs.165 crore allocated for the athletes ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

Asked his expectations from the budget, Sonowal added, "Our Prime Minister is very much keen to promote sports in the country. We are interested to bring sports to a level where it has credibility. Sports must be above corruption."