The South Asia Olympic Council (SAOC) on december 3, decided to organise the 13th South Asian Games in Nepal from March 9-18 in 2019.
The first meeting of the SAOC held at Nepal Olympic Committee building finalised the dates for the 13th South Asian Games. Nepal had received the SAOC Flag during the closing ceremony of the 12th SA Games held in India in February. The SAOC decided to establish a permanent headquarters in Nepal to look after all the activities of the council.
Nepal Olympic Committee President Jeevan Ram Shrestha said after the meeting, “We had a long discussion on the issue and reached the decision of holding the SA Games in March in 2019.”
NOC President Shrestha, Vice-president Jyoti Rana, Secretary General Lama Tendi Sherpa, National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka Vice-president Charles WD Henry, Secretary General Maxwell PN De Silva, Pakistan Olympic Association Secretary General Muhammad Khalid Mahmood, Bhutan Olympic Committee Director Jigme Thinley and Secretary General Sonam Karma Tshering, Bangladesh Olympic Committee Director General Fakhruddin Haider attended the meeting, while representatives from the Maldives and India did not attend the meeting. The meeting also appointed Shrestha as the President of the SAOC and Lama Tendi Sherpa as the Secretary General.
Earlier, countries having the hosting rights of the SAG used to have temporary headquarters in their respective countries. “There is a provision of establishing a permanent headquarters in the statute and the decision of having the headquarters in Nepal was made during the meeting. We are happy that Nepal will be a sport destination with the establishment of the headquarters,” Shrestha added.
The meeting took the decision of including 20 to 23 sports disciplines in the SA Games.
“The host country can include two disciplines. So, the number of sports will be between 20 to 25. We decided to continue with the Dhaka edition as there were 25 disciplines in the 11th SA Games held in Bangladesh,” he informed.
“We will finalise the number of games to be played in Nepal in our next meeting as we need to hold discussion with the government and stakeholders as infrastructure play key role on that,” said Shrestha.
“This is not just an opportunity but a matter of pride for us and we are committed to hold the games on time. The government has also kept the Games in its priority list,” said Sripaili.