The organising committee on Thursday promised a colourful opening ceremony to kick off the 12th South Asian Games on Friday and to remain vigilant to see to it that the fortnight-long event goes off without any hitch.

Addressing a crowded press conference here, the organising committee CEO, Injeti Srinivas said that having got to the home stretch after having worked hard through the last three months or so, his team was now very much confident of delivering a successful and memorable Games expected off it.

He said that the gates of the Indira Gandhi stadium, given the unprecedented security cover provided by the security agencies, will be closed 90 minutes prior to start of the opening ceremony commencing at 5 p.m.

The opening ceremony which will have the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi as the chief guest is also expected to be attended by the Sports Ministers of all the participating nations. In the case of Maldives, it will be the Defence Minister who will be present.

Over 25,000 accreditation cards have already been issued and though the functional team handling the same would have to put in several extra hours tonight, the process will be sealed on Friday morning.

Mr. Srinivas said his team was now entering the most important phase of the operations and this was the technical conduct of the Games. Already, all the venues are ready to host the competitions what with the equipment also being installed. “We have had a few test events through the last few days and the initial reports from the federations concerned are quite satisfying.

The only downside to the competitions was the continuing renovation work at the Nehru stadium in the city which was initially selected to be the venue of the football (men) competitions. The competitions therefore had to be shifted to the SAI complex virtually at the last minute. “Since it is more of a training facility, we are regretful that we have been unable to issue tickets to spectators for the football matches. This, in our consideration, is only downside to these Games,” he said.

The CEO claimed that the ticketing process was otherwise progressing smoothly and it was expected that all the venues will have a full house crowd during the competitions of the various disciplines forming part of the first-ever multi-discipline event to be held in the North East.