The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has said that it would try its best to hold the Asian Athletics Championship in another city of the country after the Tamil Nadu Government refused to host the prestigious event, which was scheduled to be held in Chennai.

Amid protests over the alleged brutal killing of slain LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran’s son, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday, called off the 20th Asian Athletics Championships that was scheduled to be held in July, saying Lankan athletes have no place in the state.

“The final decision of the venue of the event will be taken by the executive committee of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA). It is up to them to decide whether the event will remain in India or not, but certainly we would like to hold the championship in another city of India if the Tamil Nadu government refuses to host it,” an AFI official told PTI on condition of anonymity. “We will try to keep the event in India,” he added.

Top officials of the AFI refused to comment on the development, saying that they would first examine the reason behind the cancellation only after receiving an official communication.

AAA secretary general Maurice Nicholas, when contacted, said he would react only after getting an official confirmation.

“We are yet to receive an official communication. We will decide on the matter only after getting an official communication,” Mr. Nicholas said from Singapore.

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