Acceding to the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA), request, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has given India time until mid-February to make a fresh bid for the 2019 Asian Games. The last day to bid for the quadrennial event was Wednesday, but the IOA --- and the Indian government, if one may say, have got a lifeline.
"We have unofficially sought time from the OCA until mid-February. Hopefully, the process would be set in motion again," said OCA and IOA secretary-general, Randhir Singh, on the sidelines of the flag hoisting ceremony of the Indian contingent at the Athletes' Village on Thursday. "I fail to understand what is wrong in the bid document submitted by the IOA to the Indian government for approval," said a peeved Randhir.
The sports ministry recently turned down the IOA's proposal to bid for the 2019 Games and held the IOA responsible for forcing its hands, saying the national Olympic committee (NOC) did not provide adequate details on the bidding process and logistics. Therefore, the IOA's proposal did not merit consideration. HT had published a story saying the ministry had sent at least half-a-dozen reminders to the IOA seeking clarity on the bid, but in vain.
Randhir said on Thursday that the bid document submitted for the 2014 Games --- which ultimately was awarded to Incheon (South Korea) --- could be used for the 2019 bid as well. The other countries in the fray are Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand. The bids will be opened in July 2011 at Tokyo.