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January 13, 2021

SA Games moved to 2023

Sports

January 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The 14th edition of the South Asian Games will now be held in March 2023 in Lahore and nearby cities, ‘The News’ has learnt reliably.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting meant to set the things rolling to start the preparations for the Games. Though the final decision regarding dates of the Games was left to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), however all the stakeholders have agreed to host the Games in March 2023, just before start of the month of Ramzan.

“We have decided to host the Games in March 2023 instead of 2022. A review of all the important matters was conducted and it was decided to delay hosting of the Games for yet another year. Earlier, it was planned to stage the Games in 2022. Since it is a mega event and requires extensive preparations so one more year was needed,” a government official said.

He added that it has been decided to hold the Games in major cities of Punjab with Lahore being the hub of all activities and center of major sports events to be contested during the mega event.

The POA was adamant to hold the Games in populous cities of Punjab rather in Islamabad that already had hosted the event two times.

“There is a need to develop sports infrastructure in Lahore where Games’ opening and closing ceremonies will be held. For upgradation of the existing infrastructure, work should be started at the earliest. As we will be holding 27 sports disciplines during the event so upgradation of the existing facilities is a must,” a source told ‘The News’.

“Say if Sialkot goes on to host football and volleyball events so the efforts will be made to raise the best possible facilities where spectators will also be present. Same is the case with other cities.”

It is also believed that traders and businessmen of Sialkot and Faisalabad have assured all possible financial support to hold the important sports events in their cities.

It has also been learnt that the month has been finalised after consultation with the South Asian Olympic Committee.

‘The News’ has also learnt that a separate committee will be constituted in the coming days to look after the expenditures on the development work during the next two years.

“Every penny to be invested in hosting of the Games will be accounted for. A special finance committee will be formed, having a complete check on the auditors to monitor billions of rupees to be spent in coming years.”