KATHMANDU, July 16: National Sports Council (NSC) Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista on Friday said that the opening ceremony of the 13th South Asian Games will be held at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu. He also informed that Nepal will host the event in February of 2018.
However, the stadium was badly damaged by last year's devastating earthquake and no major progress was seen on part of the re-construction of the only stadium of international standard in Nepal.
During an interaction program on the Seventh National Games and the 13th South Asian Games organized in Kathmandu, NSC Member Secretary Bista said that there is no other option than holding the opening ceremony of SAG at the Dasharath Stadium.
“The closing ceremony could be organized in Pokhara. However, it will also depend upon the circumstances,” said Bista.
Bista also added that reconstruction work of the stadium will begin as soon as the master plan will be made after the detailed study of the stadium.
“The construction period will depend upon the gravity of damages to the stadium,” said Bista, who added that the government was also reluctant to allocate enough budget. “The government is not allocating enough budget and we have to do with whatever amount we are provided with. So, we are not able to achieve our target,” he lamented.
Member Secretary Bista informed that 27 games in total could be organized during the SAG with 21 games in Kathmandu and six in Pokhara.
Meanwhile, representatives from most of the sports associations suggested that the Seventh National Games, which was postponed twice, should be organized keeping in view the 13th SAG. They also demanded that enough budget and facilities be provided to the associations for preparations of both the events.
“Budget should be allocated in time so that the associations and players get enough time to prepare and organize selection games,” said Nepal Boxing Association President Ram Awale.
Likewise, All Nepal Football Association Chief Executive Officer Indraman Tuladhar opined that re-selection games should not be organized for the Seventh National Games.
Similarly, representatives of various associations blamed NSC of discrimination over allocating budget to the associations and on appointing coaches.