Indian Olympic Association racing against time to bid for 2019 Asian Games



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Indian Olympic Association

Amid a spate of confusions following the withdrawal of Hanoi as the venue for the 2019 Asian Games, it appears that the Indian Olympic Association is pushing to officially put forward its bid to host the sporting extravaganza.

India’s capital New Delhi, which has hosted the 1951 and 1982 edition of Asian Games, as well as the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is being considered by the IOA to replace the Vietnamese capital which dropped out in April because of financial pressure.

However, the IOA seems to running against time with July 1 being the last day to submit the papers to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

On June 24, IOA began the process of seeking government approval, required to mount a bid for hosting the 2019 Asian Games by writing to the federal Sports Ministry and Delhi Lieutenant Governor.

The OCA had asked the IOA to furnish several bid documents, including approval from the Cabinet and the Delhi state government, so that the country can complete the bidding process before July 1 deadline.

The Sports Ministry put the ball back into IOA’s court on June 26, saying the sports body should first submit a comprehensive proposal on the issue and justify choosing New Delhi as the venue. The ministry wrote to IOA saying a decision on such a major sporting event can only be taken after it receives all the information on infrastructure, funds, and facilities.

The ministry has asked the IOA to submit a comprehensive action plan covering the ‘estimated cost for renovation of existing infrastructure and creation of new infrastructure, estimated cost of conduct, sources of funding, institutional arrangement for the organising committee, requirement and specification of Games Village’.

The ministry even wanted to know why New Delhi has been chosen ‘as the host city and details of tax exemptions and custom duties waiver required’.

As no political decision has been taken on hosting the Games yet and the BJP-led federal government has just begun its tenure, it may be cagey on holding the Games at such a short notice.

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