Chennai: The South Asian Games (SAF) which was scheduled to be held at Guwahati and Shillong from January 10 to 20 next year has been postponed by fifteen days to the second fortnight of February.
It was decided unanimously by the member countries of South Asian Olympic Council at a meeting chaired by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N Ramachandran here on Sunday.
The Council also decided to include Tennis to the existing 22 disciplines.
"This change was accepted in keeping with the request of some members and also taking into account the cold climatic conditions in the hosting states around that period," said Ramachandran at a media conference held after the SAF meet.
"The exact dates would be communicated to the various national Olympic committees in the next 15 days after consultations with all stake holders including the Government of India as also the governments of Assam and Meghalaya. The IOA would also be consulting the Chief Ministers of both these states in this regard," he added.
The meeting, which was attended by the newly appointed CEO of SAG, RK Sharma and delegates of all the other seven countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka also decided on the disciplines to be included in the Games.
"Tennis is to the new addition. The others are archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, football, handball, hockey, judo, kabaddi, kho kho, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu. In all now competitions in 23 disciplines would be held, most of them in Guwahati and the rest in Shillong," Ramachandran said.
Ramachandran said that the events to be held in each discipline would be worked out by the Games Technical conduct committee in a week's time after taking into account the previous edition's programme which was held in Dhaka in 2010.
In all, around 4000 sports persons were expected to compete in the Games.
The IOA President said that the NOCs of all the nations in the region had confirmed participation to ensure that the Games was a success.
He said the Games would have government funding and it was also learnt that the Union Sports Minister had a discussions with several public sector undertakings for their contribution to the South Asian Games.