The 36th National Games, scheduled to be held in Goa, on Thursday were postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - COVID-19 in India: With Highest Single-day Spike of 29,429 Cases, Tally Crosses 9.3 Lakh; Rate of Recovery Over 63%
Goa was to hold the much-delayed Games in October-November. Also Read - Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Soon to Enter Phase 3 Trials as Phase 1 Shows Positive Results
With Goa in green zone for some time, there were hopes regarding the organisation of an event of this scale and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had asked the state government to hos the Games from October 20 to November 4. Also Read - BCCI Planning to Hold Camp For Contracted Players in Dubai: Report
However, recently a sudden spike in coronavirus cases has resulted in the cancellation.
“The National Games organising committee has decided to postpone National Games due to COVID-19 pandemic,” Goa’s deputy chief minister Manohar (Babu) Ajgaonkar, who also holds the sports portfolio, was quoted as saying in a statement shared by IOA president Narinder Batra.
“… Committee to hold meeting in September end and decide on fixing dates for National Games. (Goa) Government to take advice from Union Sports Ministry, need four months advance notice to organise games,” Ajgaonkar’s statement added.
The last edition of the National Games was held in 2015 in Kerala.
They were originally scheduled to be held in November 2018 before being rescheduled to April 2019. However, General Elections caused a further delay.
In Goa, so far 68 confirmed cases related to coronavirus have been reported and the state government was wary of athletes coming from other regions of the country which have been badly affected.
Sporting events across India have been suspended due to the pandemic including the Indian Premier League.