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Pakistan Likely to Postpone South Asian Games Again

Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), under its new leadership, directed all the sports federations that will compete in the 14th South Asian Games to submit a renewed list of their requirements for the event.

According to media reports, a POA official revealed that all the participating federations have been given February 16 as a deadline to submit their details.

The details required by POA include the proposed venue, renovation/upgradation plan, procurement of equipment, as well as estimated costs, competition days, name and number of men & women events, the number of athletes for each discipline, quantity of team officials/coaches, the quantity of technical officials, the requirement of technical handbooks, duration of local training camps, international training with proposal and estimated budget, hiring of foreign coach, accommodation proposals, any other matter related to the mega-event.

The POA official elaborated: “The Ministry of Planning has already approached the Foreign Office to ascertain the importance of the South Asian Games from Pakistan’s perspective. Hopefully, the answer from the FO will be with the concerned authorities within the next few days. It is like starting afresh. All the details for the game would be inked again as there could be some fresh requirements and developments.”

Previously, the POA had decided on hosting the games in March 2024, but now it seems like a delay of one year is bound to happen.

“One thing is certain, Pakistan will not be in a position to host the event within the next few months meaning the Games could be postponed for another year. However, the decision will be taken in consultation with the South Asian member countries.”

POA has applied to allot Rs 9 billion to host the event. Rs 3 billion for the development of infrastructure while another Rs 6 billion for the hosting of the Games, including the purchase of gear and board, and lodging of close to 5,000 athletes and officials.

POA is under pressure from major South Asian member countries to either hold the Games or give away the hosting rights to Sri Lanka, where the next edition is scheduled.

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