By Susil Premalal
Sri Lanka has been selected to host the 14th South Asian Games in 2022. The decision was made due to a request made by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL), at the Committee Meeting of the South Asian Olympic Committee recently.
The 2022 event was due to be held in Pakistan, but due to concerns over security in the country, several member countries, including India have declined to have the event in Pakistan.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Suresh Subramaniam, President, NOCSL said, “No country had made a bid for the 2022 edition and thus Sri Lanka was able to win the opportunity to host the event.”
“Sri Lanka has agreed to give an opportunity to the Maldives to stage two events at the 2022 games. This is because the Maldives cannot stage an entire event in their country. Football and Beach Volleyball are the two sports that are being planned to be held in the city of Male,” he said.
“In addition, India is hoping to bid for the Olympic Games in 2032. If India wins, there is chance that a single Olympic event could be staged in Sri Lanka because India is unable to stage an entire event. Getting to host an Olympic event is a massive opportunity for the country. There would not be another chance like this,” he added.
Sri Lanka has hosted the South Asian Games on two occasions before, namely, in 1991 and 2006.
“Around USD 50 Million are expected to be spent to host the event and the NOCSL hopes to hold discussions with the Sri Lanka Government to obtain this amount,” he concluded.
The Sri Lanka contingent for the 13th South Asian Games, to be held from December 1 – 10, is finalized and will fly to Nepal this week. The usual number of eight countries at the SAG has been reduced to seven this time due to Afghanistan deciding to not take part. Afghanistan joined the SAG in 2004 in Islamabad and participated in every event that took place till date. They have won 100 Medals in total, including 20 Gold, 26 Silver and 54 Bronze, in all these editions.