Tuesday, July 20, 2010

IOA asked to submit 2019 Asian Games bid documents

Indian Olympic AssociationImage via Wikipedia
New Delhi:  The Sports Ministry has given the Indian Olympic Association time till Thursday to submit a comprehensive document with all the financial details if it wants to get the government's permission to bid for the 2019 Asian Games.

The Ministry said the National Olympic body made a significant delay in informing the government of its decision to bid for the 2019 Asian Games, giving it very little time to consult with various parties concerned.

Sports Minister M S Gill said the government has to abide by the system and cannot merely consider any abrupt proposal.

"To consider any such great event which has major financial and other implications, there is a system. IOA has to prepare a comprehensive document with financial and other details and has to pass a formal resolution in its executive body and then present it to the Sports Ministry," Gill said.

"The Sports Ministry then has to consult the Finance Ministry, Home Ministry, Planning Commission and the Delhi Government and only after that the Ministry can take it to the Cabinet, which makes the final decision.

"Just casual talks in the press has no meaning. When such a document is presented to us, we will examine it," he said.

In a letter written to IOA Secretary-General Randhir Singh on July 8, Sports Ministry's Under Secretary Shankar Lal said the Ministry needs a comprehensive document to consider such a proposal.

"It is noted from your reply that the decision to bid for 2019 Asian Games was taken at the AGM of IOA held on 7.12.2009. Given the enormity of the factors involved in hosting such a major sporting event, it is not understood as to why it took IOA nearly four months to inform this department of their decision to bid for the Games," the Ministry letter said.

"Further, the first communication received from IOA on this matter was in the form of an abrupt email dated 28.4.2010 attaching a draft letter of guarantee to be issued by the Host City Government. Since the decision to bid for a major sporting event like Asian Games requires Government endorsement at the highest level, IOA was expected to submit comprehensive documentation, giving adequate lead time to the Government to hold inter-ministerial consultations," it said.

"Unfortunately, in the instant case, IOA has neither provided the department with the requisite documentation nor has it given the department adequate time to appraise the proposal in consultation with all concerned, including the Government of Delhi. 

"Hence, unless IOA supplies information on the points, it will not be possible for Department of Sports to examine the proposal of IOA for bidding for 2019 Asian Games... It is requested that the requisite information may please be sent to this Department immediately and latest by 15.7.2010," the letter added.

The Sports Ministry had specifically sought justification from IOA on the choice of Delhi for 2019 Asian Games, especially after the national capital lost out to Doha for 2006 and Incheon (South Korea) for 2014 Asian Games. The Ministry also said that IOA proposal was silent on the proposed institutional arrangement for conduct of the Games.

The Ministry also asked IOA to submit a proper budget for the Games, indicating both expenditure component and revenue component and said merely informing the operational budget estimate of this year's Guangzhou Asian Games was not enough.

"It is pertinent to mention that IOA had informed the Ministry that it would like to desist from receiving any further financial assistance from the Government from 2010-11 onwards. Hence, IOA also needs to clearly state whether the present proposal for bidding for 2019 Asian Games and subsequent conduct of the Games in the event of winning the bid is at no cost to the Government," the letter said.

The Sports Ministry also said that over the years India's performance in the quadrennial event has not been impressive and hence IOA's proposal should also contain a proper plan as to how the athletes will fare in the Games.

"The other important issue relates to the level of our performance in the Asian Games, which has not been quite satisfactory. Games are not only to showcase our city/country, but also to showcase the country's sporting performance, for which we should have a clear target. Hence, IOA's proposal to bid for the Games should also state their plan for putting up a commendable performance at the Games in terms of medal tally/ranking," the Ministry said in the letter. 

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