The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked the Goa state government that it must host the National Games as scheduled from October 20 to November 4 this year.
According to a TOI report, the state government was surprised to receive an email from IOA regarding the national games. IOA general secretary Rajeev Mehta told TOI, "We've told Goa that its fine to host the National Games from October 20.
Considering the rising coronavirus pandemic, which brought sports to a standstill, the IOA general secretary said that the state will be in a better position to answer if the Games can be held or not. Also recently, Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju had revealed that it might not be possible to host the National Games. But according to IOA, they haven't received any such communication.
The TOI report further reveals that IOA were only responding to a letter from National Games CEO Ashok Kumar.
Also, the IOA letter refers to Goa as a "green zone". It could be a huge risk to host the Games, considering the rising pandemic.
A government official was quoted as saying, "the chief minister will consult all stakeholders and take a decision later this week. This is an important decision and Goa cannot decide unilaterally. We have to consult the Centre, besides it's important to get feedback from the participating teams."
According to the official, infrastructure is not an issue. The main concern lies in the advance payments made for services like catering and transport. "If we make the payments now, and if there is a sudden spike in June or July, our event will be at risk. If we cancel later, the state will lose crores of rupees for nothing," the official said.
The question remains, if other states will participate as a powerhouse like Maharashtra has been facing a drastic rise in COVID-19.
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