The tussle between the Goa government and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) continues over the hosting of the 36th National Games in the coastal state, with the Chief Minister insisting that it is up to the Association to decide the dates for the already delayed event.
“IOA has to decide. We have said that it (dates) will be advanced in six months and they have to inform us of the dates. We will be ready,” Pramod Sawant said reiterating the Goa government’s position that the state would be ready to host the games in May 2020, as against November 2019, when they were originally scheduled to be held.
“The ball is in their (IOA) court. It is necessary for them to decide. Goa will be prepared… National Games’ infrastructure is being raised. We are not short on infrastructure,” Sawant said while speaking at an athletics meet organised in the memory of former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar near Panaji.
Sawant also said that the necessary infrastructure required to host the much-delayed Games will be completed soon.
Delay in completing the requisite infrastructure in Goa has been one of the reasons behind the delay in hosting the Games, the last edition of which was held in Jharkhand in 2011.
The state government has already written to the IOA to allocate dates around May 2020 for the hosting of the Games.
Ajgaonkar also pointed out that “all previous editions” of the National Games had been delayed in the past.