IOA re-iterates its stand to host SAG early next year

New Delhi: Hardening its stand on hosting the South Asian Games early next year, the Indian Olympic Association said on Wednesday that it would be a "standing shame" for the country if it fails to honour the commitment to conduct the regional event.

The IOA, in its Special General Body Meeting here, "unanimously" resolved to conduct the Games in the country, which has been allotted to it on rotational basis, and urged the government to give clearance to host the SAG next year.

It said that the GBM felt it would be a standing shame for the country if it fails to honour the commitment to host the SAG because India is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Addressing the meeting, IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the reason given by the Sports Ministry seeking the deferment of the SAG were flimsy and not convincing.

"We have already written to the Prime Minister on this issue and now we will meet him to known the Government`s stand to end the prevailing uncertainty," he said in an IOA release.

IOA had earlier sought the Government`s approval to conduct the Games in the Capital in January 2013.
However, the Sports Ministry had written to the IOA last month, asking the national sports apex body to host the Games after the second half of 2014, citing administrative difficulties in Delhi due to Assembly elections.

Malhotra said if the Games cannot be held in Delhi due to some technical reasons, the venue can be shifted to any other state that has infrastructure of international standard.
He said several states have offered to hosts the Games.

"We we are awaiting Government`s response. Interestingly even the Delhi Government has shown its keenness to conduct the Games in the capital," he said.

Malhotra said that IOA has rejected the Draft Sports Bill in its totality because it infringes the autonomy of the Sports Federations and the IOA.

"We don`t accept it and we have told the Government about it," he said.

The acting president also made it clear to the GBM that Ethics Commission and Court of Arbitration set up by the IOA will start functioning only after four-member committee submits its report, which will have to be ratified by the General House.

"Everything will be transparent and have the approval of the General house of the IOA," he said.

The GBM accepted the amendments to the IOA`s Constitution to have eight vice-presidents and six joint secretaries.

It restored full powers to the president to set up committees/commissions, decide about the disciplinary issues and appoint associate vice-presidents and joint secretaries.

The GBM also approved the decision of giving sponsorship money to the sportspersons qualified for London Olympics.

It also approved the amendment that NSFs, whose disciplines are part of the Olympic/Asian and

Commonwealth Games will have three votes each, while State Olympic Associations will have two votes each.