The much-delayed 36th National Games will be staged in Goa from October 20 to November 4 next year, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said here on Saturday.
“It was finalised in a meeting here today and the National Games will be held in October-November next year. The Goan officials have promised that they will have all the facilities and infrastructure ready this time,” IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta told PTI.
The meeting was attended by IOA top brass and delegation from Goa, including Sports Minister Babu Azgaonkar, Sports Secretary J Ashok Kumar, VM Prabhudesai, Krishnamurthy and Engineer Anil Ringne.
Non-completion of the requisite infrastructure in Goa has been one of the reasons behind the multiple delays in hosting the Games, the last edition of which was held in Jharkhand in 2011.
However, Engineer Ringne on Saturday assured that the infrastructure work will be completed well in time.
Goa was earlier supposed to host the 36th edition of the National Games in November last year. However, the state later set aside dates for the event from March 30 to April 14 this year, but then expressed its inability to host the Games during that period owing to the general elections.
The IOA in April had asked Goa to pay a penalty of Rs 10 crore for repeatedly postponing the National Games. However, the state government urged the IOA to write off the penalty, assuring that there would be no further delay in organizing the Games.
The National Games comprises various disciplines in which sportsmen from the different states of India participate against each other. Earlier known as the country’s first few Olympic Games, it has now been National Games. It all started in the 1920s. The Indian Olympic Games (now known as National Games) was held in the year 1924 for selecting Indian competitors for the 1924 Paris Olympics. These games were organised every two years and was renamed as National Games during the ninth edition which was held in Bombay in 1940.