SAOC decides to postpone SAG until March 2024

By our correspondent

KARACHI: The South Asian Olympic Council (SAOC) member nations on Tuesday agreed that the 14th South Asian Games should be postponed until March 2024.

The body decided this in a meeting held on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) in Cambodia on Tuesday.

Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) chief Lt General (retd) Syed Arif Hasan and secretary Khalid Mehmood attended the meeting. Arif Hasan is also the vice-president of the OCA.

The POA secretary Khalid Mehmood told The News from Cambodia that various matters including the flood situation in Pakistan were discussed and it was debated on that it was practically not easy to feature in two back-to-back events including the Asian Games and South Asian Games keeping in view managing finances for a state. He said that it was unanimously decided that the 14th South Asian Games, which were earlier scheduled in 2023, should be postponed until March 2024.

Khalid said that Pakistan was told that it should inform the member states of the SAOC about the new dates of the biennial event.

“We told them that after consultation with the government back home we will let the member nations know about the new dates of the Games,” Khalid said.

Pakistan has been given the 28 disciplines and of them the host nation will reduce one discipline but not that one which was part of the previous edition held in Nepal in 2019.

The spectacle, which Pakistan will host, will carry 27 disciplines as usual. Earlier Pakistan wanted to host the event in October-November 2023 but the rescheduling of the 19th Asian Games for September-October 2023 forced the SAOC to shift the event to March 2024.

The competitions will be held in major cities of Punjab and Islamabad. This is the third time that Pakistan is going to host the regional event after having successfully conducted it in 1989 and 2004 at the Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad.

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