A conflict between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the sports ministry over the conduct of the South Asian Games (SAG) has resurfaced with the sports minister saying that the regional games should be shifted from January 2013 to 2014.
On Thursday, IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra opposed the shifting of the games, while sports minister, Ajay Maken, hit back saying the IOA should first set its house in order and then talk about hosting international events.
"The IOA has no right to host international competitions till the time tainted officials are running the show," said Maken, hinting at the corruption charges against Suresh Kalmadi. "The apex sports body shouldn't ask for funds to conduct international event as long as its officials are not absolved of corruption charges," Maken said on the sidelines of a function to honour medallists of international events, in the Capital on Thursday.
The SAG, according to Malhotra, was allotted to India by virtue of rotation policy. Initially, the IOA was supposed to host the games in October 2012, but finally decided to conduct it in January 2013.
But the ministry wrote back to the IOA, saying, "There is no room for SAG competition in 2013… it should be held late in 2014 due to elections."
Upset with the ministry's statement, Malhotra said, "Postponing the event would be national shame."
But Maken made his stand clear. "Shifting the SAG has been done in consultation with other ministries. Hence, there is no going back."