India drops plans for late 2019 Asian Games bid

MUMBAI - India has dropped its plan to submit a late bid for the 2019 Asian Games after failing to meet an extended deadline, the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association told Reuters.

Hanoi was awarded the Games in November 2012 ahead of the Indonesian city of Surabaya but the Vietnamese capital stood down as hosts in April fearing the multi-sport event would not be financially viable. India made a late decision to bid for the Games and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) extended its July 1 deadline by 'a couple of days' for the country to submit a proposal.

IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said that the association had dropped the plan after failing to get an audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “There is no more chance of bidding for the 2019 Asian Games,” Mehta said by telephone. “We had already sought an extension from the OCA which has ended and we failed in our efforts to meet the prime minister. Honestly, the time was too short. There's no one to blame neither the government nor the IOA. We tried our best but it was not enough.”

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