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Meghalaya threatens to withdraw from co-hosting SA Games

A move which can throw the upcoming South Asian Games into disarray, Meghalaya is mulling to withdraw from co-hosting the event, protesting against shifting of the badminton event from Shillong to Guwahati.

In a letter to IOA President N Ramachandran and SAI DGInjeti Srinivas, Meghalaya Olympic Association working president John F Kharshiing said that he has been informed by the government officials that the state was exploring the possibility of withdrawing from co-hosting the 12th South Asian Games.

“We have just been informed by senior state Government of Meghalaya officials that in view of the unreasonable decision to shift Badminton from Shillong to Guwahati, the government of Meghalaya is exploring the probability of totally withdrawing from co-hosting the 12th SAG 2016,” Kharshiing said in the letter.

The eight disciplines originally allotted to Meghalaya were Badminton, Table Tennis, Archery, Boxing, Judo, Taekwondo, Wushu, Women’s Football) while Assam was allotted 15 disciplines for the Games, scheduled to be held from February 5-16.

“A high level meeting of Meghalaya Government is scheduled in the next few days to discuss the important matter and our sources inform that the government is seriously exploring the probability of totally withdrawing from the 12the SAG 2016,” the Meghalaya Olympic body chief said in the letter.

“We request your immediate intervention on the matter,” he added.

The badminton event of the upcoming South Asian Games has been shifted to Guwahati from Shillong due to inadequate facilities at the proposed venue at the Meghalaya capital.

The SAI Sports Centre at Shillong’s North East Hill University, which is a multipurpose indoor stadium, was reportedly found not suitable by the Badminton Association of India officials owing to poor lighting and lack of wooden flooring for the warm-up courts.

State badminton body President Werlock Kharshiing trained guns on some BJP leaders accusing them of arbitrarily shifting the venue to suit their political interests especially in view of the upcoming state assembly elections in that state.

BJP leader and former minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who is holding charge as Chairman of Assam State Badminton Association was accused of hijacking the event, by Kharshiing.

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