ISLAMABAD: The already-delayed 14th edition of South Asian Games, which were supposed to be held in March this year, are set for further postponement after a meeting of the Steering Committee on Wednesday.

The South Asian sporting gala was set to be held in Pakistan in 2021, only for the date to be pushed by three years and a meeting of the Steering Committee decided that no headway has been made in preparing for the Games.

The meeting, chaired by caretaker Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Fawad Hasan Fawad and Interim Minister Planning Development & Special Initiatives Mohammad Sami Saeed was attended by officials of the IPC ministry, Pakistan Olympic Association and Pakistan Sports Board where detailed discussions were held over the arrangements for the Games.

Sources told Dawn that both the IPC and planning ministers expressed their grave concerns over delay and stated that despite a month to go before the Games are set to get underway, there is no preparations on-ground while the budget hasn’t been acquired from the federal government.

“The IPC minister said the stakeholders had failed in completing arrangements while the participants were surprised to know that no serious effort was made to get budget for these games during the last two years,” sources added.

“It was decided that Pakistan’s foreign office should be approached for its input on postponing the games for a further six months or a year and after getting their feedback, the matter will be placed before the Prime Minister for final approval.”

The Foreign Office and the POA, sources added, will have to convince the South Asian Olympic Council over the decision to postpone with a number of regional rivals expressing their interest in holding the Games.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2024

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