The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on account of the continuing suspension of India from the Olympic fold, on Monday expectedly sought more time from Kerala for confirming the dates of the National Games to be hosted by the State.
The IOA position was made clear during discussions that the Kerala Sports Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, had with the newly-elected IOA President, N. Ramachandran, and other senior office-bearers in New Delhi.
Giving a detailed account of the discussions, a senior NGOC functionary, present at the meeting, told The Hindu that IOA President expressed his difficulty to arrive at a decision with regard to the dates of the Games straightaway but promised the Kerala delegation action soon as the suspension of India was lifted by the International Olympic Committee.
“Further, it was clarified to us that consultations with the Goa Government was also necessary prior to the finalisation of the dates for the National Games as Goa had expressed its desire to host the 36th edition of the Games in 2015 earlier.”Offer turned down
The offer of Kerala to host the first meeting of the new IOA executive was also turned down by the IOA President stating that his entire team was keen to have that meeting at the IOA Bhavan in New Delhi rather than anywhere else.
On its part, the Kerala delegation presented an update of the preparations being made to host the Games besides providing a chart detailing the conduct of the multi-discipline event on two sets of dates — one from December 28, 2014 to January 10, 2015 and the other from January 17 to 30.
The IOA President is now expected to discuss the same with the rest of his colleagues and travel down to Thiruvananthapuram at the earliest to make final consultations with the Kerala Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, who also is the chairman of the local NGOC, prior to making an official announcement.
But then, all that would happen only after a decision on India’s ban is taken up by the IOC and internal discussions within the IOA thereafter. Until then, Kerala apparently will have to wait for firm dates to host the Rs. 612 crore Games; its second such venture, having been host of the Games earlier in 1987.