AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT
Whilst the Government of Goa appears adamant and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has wilted on its demand of Rs 10 crore, sports enthusiasts want the 36th National Games impasse to end and it appears to be a probability with senior government officials happy over the progress of works at the end of an inspection of all sites earmarked for the tournament.
“Except for squash, all facilities will be inaugurated before August 15 or on that day. Squash will be completed by the end of August,” executive director of Sports Authority of Goa (SAG), VM Prabhudesai told The Navhind Times. “We will free IOA of any doubts of our ability to be ready on our Independence Day,” added Prabhudesai.
“We are certain not to succumb to any demands for money from IOA. We are clear that the national games were postponed because of reasons beyond our control and the same was conveyed to then by our late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and they had agreed,” Sports Minister Babu Azgaonkar told this newspaper.
“The Games were not postponed because we could not host them but because they could not be hosted. It is up to IOA to decide whether they want us to host the National Games within the time frame stipulated by us or not,” added Azgaonkar. The sports fraternity in Goa is behind the Government in not paying IOA, the ‘fine’ which was subsequently classified as a ‘fee’ with Goa Table Tennis association (GTTA) President Vero Nunes sending the following SMS to IOA:
“It makes no sense for Goa to pay any penalty to IOA. The IOA has not lost anything due to the postponement. On the contrary Goa govt has gone out of the way to accomodate more gamesat a huge expanse running into crores of rupees. The suggestion of Mr Bhakta that Goa should payin the form of organisation fees or whatever is ridiculous and perverted. I am saying this because IOA has been most corrupt organisation where the office bearers have even been imprisoned but i at loss to understand the logic behind their decision. IOA should atleast try to promote sports in small States like Goa. But they are acting like blackmailers.”
“I think the reasons for postponing the games were genuine. The IOA should in the spirit of sportsmanship forget with their demand for money and confirm the allocation of dates to SAG. We want the infrastructure ready because sports need to develop. That has to be the ultimate objective,” said Narahar Thakur, President of the Goa Badminton Association (GBA).
“The IOA functions according to their rules and regulations of which I am not aware. The Government of Goa should talk to them and reach a settlement,” opined Goa Swimming Association President Digambar Kamat.
“I really do not know the reasons why the national games have been actually postponed. The Sports Minister and chief Minister must be aware and it is for them to decide whether Goa should pay the fine or not. It is a call to be taken by them,” Churchill Alemao, President of the Goa Football Asssociation (GFA).