Goa not ready to host National Games yet: Sports Minister

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Contrary to claims made by his predecessor, Goa’s new Sports Minister Govind Gaude on Monday said that the coastal state was not ready to host the National Games yet.

“I don’t think we are ready for the National Games. There are several things (which need to be done) including infrastructure. We have to prepare,” Gaude, who was appointed Sports Minister last week, told reporters.

“I am making a statement as a people’s representative. I am not trying to cheat anyone. My department is open and transparent,” he also said.

Gaude’s claims as Sports Minister are contrary to those made by his predecessor, Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, who had repeatedly claimed that the state government was in readiness to host the National Games and was only waiting for a nod from the Indian Olympic Association.

The Goa government has already spent nearly Rs 450 crore on raising infrastructure for the proposed National Games.

Delay in completing the requisite infrastructure in Goa, has been one of the reasons behind the delay in hosting the Games, the last edition of which was held in Jharkhand in 2011.

The Games were originally scheduled to be held in Goa in November 2016. After repeated delays, the Games were later scheduled to begin in October 2021, but were postponed yet again due to the emergence of the pandemic.

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