New Delhi: As if the missed deadlines and shoddy state of preparedness weren`t enough, the organizers of the Lusofonia Games in Goa have been dealt another body blow with Brazil deciding not to send its football and volleyball teams.
Portugal has only agreed to send its `C` level soccer side. The Goans, thus, have been devoid of an opportunity to watch the highly-skilled Brazilian footballers live in action.
Brazil`s former sports minister Bernard Razjman, had told the organizers during his last visit to Goa that it would take a lot of money to bring the champion football side here.
"Same was his view for Brazil`s volleyball team which is one of the best sides in the world. Bringing both teams here involves a lot of money but they should have come here to play. Football is Goa`s state sport and Brazil would have added a lot of sheen to the Games."
Portugal also expressed helplessness to send its top-notch football team for the third edition of the Games citing crammed international calendar, which effectively means the Games has lost its sheen to a great extent.
Lusofonia Games is a multi-sport event organized by the ACOLOP, which involves athletes coming from Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) countries, namely those belonging to the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries), and also others where there are significant Portuguese communities or that have a common past with the Iberian country.
However, one good news for the organizers is Brazil have confirmed its participation in athletics, table tennis, judo, taekwondo and basketball. Portugal too will participate in all disciplines with a team of 284 members.
"Two other ACOLOP teams in the top 100, Cape Verde and Angola, have confirmed their participation in football event," the official said.
The organizers are also having problems with the lack of interest on part of the participating nations towards the Games. The deadline for submitting the list of entries has expired this month and only four entries have been received for basketball event, four for volleyball and six for beach volleyball.
The BJP-led Goa government has been battling hard to make the city ready for the Games even as the monsoon has only added to its worries and the organizers will have to wait until at least end-August or early September for dry spell.
Despite winning the bid to host the third edition way back in 2009, precious little has been done to improve the current state of sports infrastructure in the state.
If the Athletic Stadiums at Bambolim and Mapusa are not yet ready, the Indoor Stadium at Taleigao too has missed the deadline, while the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda is undergoing renovation.
It has to be noted that most of the work is being supervised by bureaucrats and officials who do not have expertise or technical knowledge to conduct the Games.
"The coordinating panel that ACOLOP formed to check the state`s preparedness too did not have encouraging words for the organizers as it has been made amply clear to them that much more needs to be done," the official added.
All infrastructures for the Lusofonia Games must be ready by October 1, a month before the kick-off.