Sports Ministry undecided, Asian Games bid in jeopardy

New Delhi: With just 24 hours to go and the
Sports Ministry yet to grant approval, India`s bid for the
2019 Asian Games now looks in jeopardy.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had written to the
Sports Ministry, seeking permission to bid for the Games but
with just one day to go, the Ministry has not made up its mind

"We have not decided anything yet," a Ministry official
told reporters.

An exasperated IOA official lashed out at the Ministry
for its attitude and said, "This is preposterous. We sought
the Ministry`s permission to bid for the event and they are
still sitting on it knowing fully well that tomorrow is the

"We have not asked for any money, just sought their
approval but they have not bothered to respond yet," he said.

"We need the government guarantee and need it immediately
but apparently the Joint Secretary is out of the country and
we can`t help it," he added.

Incidentally, earlier today, Sports Minister MS Gill
inaugurated a cycling velodrome at the Indira Gandhi Indoor
Stadium, where he spoke at length about the legacy issue, how
to make use of all the infrastructure being built for the
Commonwealth Games.

"This is strange. The Minister is concerned about the
legacy while his Ministry would not give its nod for our bid.”

"Fortune is being spent to build the infrastructure and
the more events we have, the better. For God`s sake, these are
stadiums and not tombs," he added.

The deadline for bidding closes tomorrow and the host
country would be named next year.

Apparently, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai have already submitted
letter of intention to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA),
while Philippines, Singapore and Bangkok are also likely to
enter the race.

Hong Kong`s Olympic Committee also made public its
intention to bid for the 2019 Games but the government there
feels the 2023 edition suits them better, since it would allow
them to develop international standard venues there.



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