KATHMANDU, Dec 1: Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) is hosting the South Asian Olympic Council (SAOC) meeting on Saturday in the capital with a view to finalize the date of the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) supposed to be organized by Nepal in 2018.
According to NOC President Jeevan Ram Shrestha, the meeting will discuss on agenda of setting up SAOC secretariat in Kathmandu, decide on the date of the upcoming SAG, statute amendment among others.
Nepal was handed the flag of SAG during the closing ceremony of the 12th SAG in Guwahati, India in February 2016 in order to host the games in Nepal in 2018. However, Nepal has not prepared accordingly even though 10 months have already elapsed. As part of preparations for the SAG, Nepal has done nothing more than forming a Physical Infrastructure Construction and Repair Committee under the coordination of Tashi Ghale.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has also shown interest to host the 13th SAG arguing that Nepal might not be able to host the games due to the devastation caused by the catastrophic earthquakes of 2015. However, NOC President Jeevan Ram Shrestha reiterated that the NOC was committed to host the games in Nepal and it could host the event by 2018 if the government becomes serious about the matter. “Hosting SAG is the matter of national pride and Nepal could host the event by 2018 if the government takes prompt action soon after the date is finalized by Saturday's meeting,” Shrestha said.
Meanwhile, Shrestha also informed that the next edition of SAG will feature only seven teams as Afghanistan withdrew its membership from SOAC and joined Central Asian Games Association.
The NOC executive committee meeting held on Wednesday has also decided to reward senior journalist Shyam Chitrakar and Raju Silwal during its annual general assembly scheduled for December 15.