SAG postponed till February

Kathmandu, July 8

South Asian Olympic Council meeting in New Delhi today agreed to organise the 12th edition of the South Asian Games (SAG) at the end of February next year, informed Nepal Olympic Committee President Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan.

India had proposed to host the regional games from December 10. Representatives from all eight South Asian nations were present at the meeting which agreed to postpone the Games by three months. “Pakistan and Maldives cited financial problem and they proposed to postpone the games for few months. We agreed as we also required some time for preparation,” said Pradhan.

India had proposed 22 disciplines without karate and cricket but other participating nations were against it. “We asked India to include karate as it is like our national game and they agreed to keep it,” said Pradhan. “We have proposed sepak takraw, chess, sambo, fencing along with karate to be included in the Games. The final decision regarding the events will be made by the technical team in few days,” added Pradhan.

Nepal along with other nations went against the decision of India to exclude women’s participation in seven events. “As International Olympic Committee is against gender bias, we asked India not to go against it,” Pradhan said. “Other nations also supported us in this point.” India had excluded women’s events in basketball, cycling, football, taekwondo, volleyball, weightlifting and wushu.

Pradhan added the representatives of other nations asked the hosts to include more events than the 11th edition held in Bangladesh, where 23 sports disciplines were in fray. “The 12th edition is expected to host 23 to 25 events,” said Pradhan. Pradhan informed Nepal also supported Bangladesh’s proposal to include cricket in the regional Games.

The Indian government had already approved the budget of Rs 600 million for the SAG, originally scheduled to be held in Guwahati and Shillong. Indian representative said they will have to make request to the government for more budgets to add events. Proposed events in men’s section are Taekwondo, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Wushu, Basketball, Cycling and Football.

Events for both men and women athletes are Archery,  Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho Kho, Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis and Triathlon.