Won’t pay IOA fine for National Games delay, says Goa Minister

The Goa Sports Minister said the government will not pay the ₹6 crore fine imposed on it by the Indian Olympic Association due to a delay in organising the 36th National Games.

The IOA had initially fined the Goa government ₹10 crore, but it was later reduced to ₹6 crore. (Representational Image)   -  Twitter @ioaindia

Goa Sports Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said on Wednesday that the Goa government will not pay the fine of ₹6 crore imposed on it by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the delay in organising the 36th National Games in the coastal state.

Ajgaonkar said the state government had already spent ₹390.47 crore for development of infrastructure for the National Games, the dates for which have still not been finalised, after repeated postponements.

“We will not pay the fine imposed on us,” he told the Goa legislative assembly on Wednesday. The initial fine amounted to ₹10 crore, which was later reduced to ₹6 crore by the IOA.

In his written reply to a question by Congress MLA Aleixo Lourenco, Ajgaonkar said: “The Indian Olympic Association has raised a demand for added hosting rights fee, however, the government has protested the demand raised by IOA and presently, the demand has not been acceded to.”

A delay in completing the requisite infrastructure is one of the reasons behind the postponement in hosting the Games. The Goa government has already written to the IOA to allocate dates around May 2020 for hosting the Games.

Ajgaonkar also pointed out that “all previous editions” of the National Games had been delayed in the past. “The 36th National Games were awarded to be hosted in Goa in 2011. However, all the previous Games editions delayed in hosting the event i.e. Ranchi (2011) and Thiruvananthapuram (2015), before which the Goa state government could not have held the Games,” Ajgaonkar said, adding that one of the main reasons for delay was the model code of conduct in place for the 2019 general elections.