The third Lusofonia Games of ‘Lusophone’ (Portuguese-speaking countries), slated to be held here in November, have been postponed to January due to the slow progress of infrastucture construction.

The Games would be held from January 18 to 29 next year.

The decision was taken following a general body meeting of the Association of Portuguese Speaking Olympic Committees at Macau yesterday.

During the meeting, a three-member team from Goa, led by Secretary (Sports) and Lusofonia Games Chief Executive Officer Keshav Chandra, said the Goa Government needed more time to complete the infrastructural works.

The work was delayed due to the monsoon, and another two months were needed, Chandra said.

Earlier, the Games were to be held between November 2 to 10. ACOLOP agreed to postpone the Games, and suggested that they should get over in January in view of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia the following month.

India (Goa), Portugal, Macau, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, East Timor, Sao Tome, Sri Lanka, Guinea Bisssau, Principe and Equatorial Gini are the 12 countries that will participate in the Games.

The ACOLOP meeting also allowed the hoisting of the tri-colour and the national anthem during the Lusofonia Games in Goa, as it hopes that the ongoing dispute between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will be resolved by December.

The work, such as construction of an indoor stadium at Taleigao, athletics stadium at Bambolim, indoor stadium at Peddem, Mapusa and the Tilak stadium, was delayed due to the monsoon.

The Goa government had earlier assured ACOLOP that all the work would be completed by the first week of October.

Chandra also said the ACOLOP delegation which visited Goa in April this year has proposed holding the customary general assembly in the first week of December before the Games.

Simultaneously, the meeting of Chef de Misssions of participating nations could also be held.

(This article was published on September 23, 2013)
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