New Delhi: Sticking to the decision of deferring the South Asian Games to the second half of 2014, Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Friday said that the IOA could be handed over the responsibility of organising the SAG only if it removes its tainted chief Suresh Kalmadi.
IOA, which is to host the SAG by virtue of rotation, wanted to conduct the event in the Capital in January 2013 and had also sought Government`s approval for it. However, in a surprise move yesterday, the Sports Ministry wrote a letter to the IOA, asking it to defer the Games to 2014.
Clarifying the Sports Ministry`s decision, Maken said that the IOA could only be trusted if it takes a tough stand on Kalmadi and forces him to resign as its chief.
"Under the current scenario, the IOA is facing flak and has been unsuccessful in removing chief Suresh Kalmadi even after facing such serious corruption charges. It is not possible to trust the IOA and they do not seem competent to hold any big games," said Maken.
"Until the IOA doesn`t take strict action on removing its chief, it shouldn`t really expect the federal government to believe in it or shoulder any responsibility to it," he added.
The IOA acting president V K Malhotra had yesterday reacted strongly to the Government`s decision to postpone the SAG till the second half of 2014, stating that it would be a "standing shame" for the country.
Malhotra recalled that it was the Government, which had put pressure on the IOA to host these Games and since 2010 the Sports Ministry officials had several meeting with IOA in this regard.