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Now, Aiyar explains why India lost Asian Games bid

The minister hits back at Indian Olympic Association, saying that the bid of Republic of Korea carried more weight than the Indian presentation, reports Chetan Chauhan.
None | By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 11, 2007 01:05 AM IST

Passing the buck over hosting of the Asian Games in Delhi in 2014 has yet not stopped.

Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday hits back at Indian Olympic Association (IOA) saying that the bid of Republic of Korea carried more weight than the ‘Indian presentation’ because they said they would be showcasing all of Asia at Incheon and not just Korea alone.

IOA president Suresh Kalmadi had blamed Aiyar for losing the bid. The comments made by Aiyar on India hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and Asian Games in 2014 was circulated at the meeting by the Korean delegation, leading to India losing the bid, IOA had claimed. Aiyar had said that hosting such games in a poor country like India does not benefit the citizens. "Mani and money had cost us the games," Kalmadi had said, after losing the bid. The Korea’s financial bid was much higher than that of IOA.

Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Aiyar said the Republic of Korea’s bid in the city of Incheon succeeded mainly for two reasons. "Partly because the RoK delegation said they would be showcasing entire Asia and that Delhi had hosted the games twice before," Aiyar said. Delhi had hosted the inaugural game in 1951 and then in 1982.

Stating that the number of votes polled for India was not known, Aiyar said, "the ballot was secret and no explanation of vote was required either before or after the vote." In that scenario, he said, "it is not possible to categorically state the reasons for which the vote was lost but it is to be noted that the Chairman of the Olympic Council of Asia announced that the vote was decided by a narrow margin."

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