India's chances of hosting the 2019 Asian Games was in jeopardy as the Olympic Council of Asia today refused the Indian Olympic Association's request for extension of deadline for submission of final bid documents by 15 days.
The deadline to submit the final bid ended yesterday, but with the government yet to take a decision on the issue, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had sent a letter to Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) requesting for extension of the July 1 deadline. However, the OCA refused to extend the deadline, citing shortage of time as an evaluation team will need to assess the bidding cities before taking a decision on a venue.
The Asian body said it can consider India's bid if the country can submit the documents in a "couple of days". "I regret to inform you that due to the extreme shortage of time, it is impossible for the OCA to extend the deadline any further. Within this two month period we need to establish the evaluation team that will visit the bidding cities and submit its report to the OCA Executive Board on 19th September," a letter from the OCA to IOA said.
"However, if you are able to still submit the guarantees within the next couple of days, OCA is willing to consider IOA's bid very positively," said the letter written by OCA Director General Husain Al Musallam to IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.
The IOA will need to submit the OCA various guarantees from the government. It will have to get clearances from various ministries and also from the Cabinet, which are unlikely to fructify in such a short period.