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Sports Minister Rijiju assures CM to waive off IOA penalty



“I met Union Minister for Sports Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi and urged him to waive off the Rs 6 crore penalty imposed by Indian Olympic Association (IOA). He assured me that he will issue directions to consider the demand of the State of Goa,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told The Navhind Times over the phone from New Delhi.

CM stated that the National Games will be held in Goa in the month of November and the State government will now wait for confirmation of dates from IOA.

Sports Secretary Ashok Kumar on Friday sent a letter to IOA asking for finalisation of the dates to conduct the 36th National Games. As stated before, the government has proposed to host the National Games from November 1 to November 16, 2019.

“IOA president Batra is on his way out of the country and secretary Rajeev Mehta is abroad. The secretary will return to India on June 24 and they will take a call on the letter within a day or two,” Goa Olympic Association (GOA) secretary Gurudutta Bhakta told The Navhind Times.

The IOA, it may be noted here, had first imposed a fine of Rs 10 crore on Goa “for extended delay in hosting the National Games.”

The Goa government had on May 7 expressed unwillingness in paying the amount and had instead asked the IOA to confirm the hosting dates.

The IOA, on its part, wrote back imposing an “added hosting right fee” of Rs 6 crore.

However, Chief Minister Sawant, who had before his departure to New Delhi on Thursday , admitted to be willing to pay the fee under protest – keeping in mind sportspeople of Goa – had a change of mind in the national capital and discussed the matter with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday.

The Goa government had suggested to IOA during their last visit to the State that Goa was ready to host the National Games from November 1 to November 16, 2019 as the International Film Festival begins from
November 20.

Sports secretary Ashok Kumar along with VM Prabhudesai, executive director of Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) had inspected all the sites where infrastructure is being created for the National Games and, after their meetings with all engineers, were convinced that all works would be ready by
August 15.

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