PM to attend closing ceremony of National Games: Organisers

Manmohan Singh
Jamshedpur, Feb 15: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the closing ceremony of the 34th National Games in Ranchi on February 26, Jharkhand Olympic Association (JOA) President R K Anand announced today.

Anand asserted that the closing ceremony will be better than the opening ceremony and will be as grand as was the closing ceremony of the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

The organisers are spending over 10 crore rupees on both the opening and closing ceremonies.

Asked whether IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi's tainted image had anything do with the Prime Minister skipping the opening ceremony, Anand suggested media to seek reply from either the Prime Minister or Kalmadi.

JOA admitted that there were glitches in the run up to the Games but pointed out that Jharkhand, which lacked infrastructure when it bid for the the Games in 2002, now has international standard infrastructure appreciated by the teams and officials, taking part in the event.

"It is now our responsibility to maintain the infrastructure properly and utilise it for the promotion of sports," Anand said suggesting setting up a "sports university" in the premises.

"I have asked the government to look in this regard and take a decision for the promotion of sports."

Asked about the replacement of the damaged equipments for the weightlifting event, to be hosted in Jamshedpur from February 22, Anand assured to look into the matter.

"I will ensure that the events should not be hamper on account of the damaged equipment and the damaged equipments will be replaced beforehand," he said.

Some of the equipments including that of athletics were taken during the Commonwealth Games but were yet to be returned, he alleged.

To a query about the conflict between the All India Football Federation and Games Technical Conduct committee over the entry of Tripura women football team that led to suspension of all matches here yesterday, Anand said the National Games were being controlled by Indian Olympic Association while the National Championships were the affairs of respective sports federation.

JOA has allowed those teams approved by the IOA, he said.

Talking about the fact the most of the Jharkhand teams had players from outside the state, Anand said they could not bring to fore the local talent due to poor infrastructure but now the situation will change.

"Jharkhand has no dearth of talents. We have to take advantage of the sports infrastructure and nurture them properly," he said.

Anand ducked questions when asked about the total budget allocated for the Games.


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