Now Portuguese Commonwealth Games under cloud

Panaji, Nov 10 (IANS) The Portuguese Commonwealth Games due in Goa a year from now seem to be going the way the preparations for the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games went - at least as far as controversy is concerned.

After years of stumbling and struggling to create adequate infrastructure for the sporting event of Portuguese-speaking nations, a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator has now raised the banner of revolt against the Games.

Vishnu Wagh, a firebrand legislator, has said that it was "ridiculous" and "out of place" for Goa to "even participate, forget hosting the Games", because Goa was neither Portuguese-speaking nor a nation.

"The Lusofonia Games are for those nations who are Portuguese-speaking. Goa is not a nation. Neither is Goa Portuguese-speaking. So what is the basis of our state hosting the games?" Wagh asked.

The Lusofonia Games are being organised by the Goa government along with the Associacao dos Comites Olimpicos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa (ACOLOP), a collective of officials from Portuguese-speaking nations, in charge of conducting the Games held every four years.

Apart from sports like football, athletics, judo, table tennis and swimming, the Games also feature events like sepak takraw, a cross-bred sport with elements of volleyball and football and futsal, an abridged, but swift-paced football variation.

Over a dozen countries, including Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Angola participate in the games.

Wagh said that the state was unnecessarily committing resources for the Games, especially at a time when the state economy was facing an economic downturn following the ban on iron ore mining.

"Let us create infrastructure where our boys can play. We do not need to spend these huge volumes of money for these games. It is a waste. I am going to raise the issue with my party. I am also willing to take the issue to the people, if need be," Wagh said.

Goa, a Portuguese colony from 1498 to 1961, won the bid for the games in 2009, when the state was ruled by a Congress-led coalition government. The bidding process in Lisbon was aggressively backed by Congress state president Subhash Shirodkar, who was then president of the Goa Olympic Association (GOA).

However, from 2009, promises made by the Goa government to the ACOLOP as far as creating infrastructure for hosting of the games were not honoured, leading the ACOLOP to even threaten that Goa might be dropped as the venue.

Added to that were controversies and scandals which dropped out of Goa's Lusofonia cupboard, with the opposition targeting then sports minister Manohar Azgaonkar for giving clearances to five-star hotels and other mega projects in the guise of creating sports infrastructure.

After the BJP stormed to power earlier this year, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the new president of the Goa Olympic Association (GOA), however, laid out the red carpet for ACOLOP officials, promising them delivery of the infrastructure for the Games before November 2013.

"We can have modern stadiums. We have the time. In fact, we will strive to have everything in place three or four months before the start of the games in November," Parrikar said.

(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at mayabhushan.n@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »