New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association has warned Goa that it may scrap the 2016 National Games allotted to it if the state does not speed up preparation work to host the multi-sporting event on time.
Angry at the tardy preparation of the Games, the IOA has shot off a letter to its Goa state unit, saying that it may forfeit the 2016 edition of the multi-sporting event and allot it to another state.
"Preparation work in Goa has not been satisfactory and we have told this to them earlier also. We don't want a situation where the date of the event is approaching but the state may not deliver the Games. That is why we thought it is necessary to send a letter of warning saying that the Games may be allotted to another venue if they (Goa) do not show urgency," IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI.
"I myself visited Goa to inspect the infrastructure and there is a lot of work to be done in a fast pace if the Games are to be held on time. The IOA Executive Committee last month has expressed apprehension that Goa may not be ready to host the Games next year given the current pace of preparation," he added.
The tentative date for the Games is November 2016 but it is learnt that the Goa government has not confirmed exact dates to host the Games despite request from the IOA.
"The IOA, Goa Olympic Association and the Goa government signed the host city agreement and they need to respect it and deliver the Games. We need an assurance from the state government that the Games will be held on time and construction work will be completed," he said.
"They (Goa) can still do it and I hope they do it and host the Games. It is only the athletes who suffer in such a situation. We have to think of the athletes and if they (Goa) cannot host the Games, we have to allot it to another state," the IOA Secretary General said.
Among others, it is learnt that infrastructure projects, including the building of the Games Village is yet to be started.
"The site for the Games Village has been identified but work has not started yet. The state government says it does not have enough funds for the project and it has even sought money from the Union Sports Ministry to construct infrastructure," a source said.
Goa was first allotted the 36th edition of the National Games to be hosted in 2011 in as early as 2008 but due to several reasons its turn to host the Games is only in next year.
Chhattisgarh has been allotted the the next edition -- the 37th National Games -- and sources in the IOA said that the state has made excellent progress in the preparation work and it can even host the 36th edition in later part of 2016 or the early part of 2017.