OCA asks India to bid for 2019 Asian Games quickly

The Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) -- The Olympic Council of Asia has told India to submit its bid for New Delhi to host the 2019 Asian Games this week if it hopes to be considered to replace Hanoi after its withdrawal by the Vietnamese Government.

The continental body refused to extend the July 1 deadline for bids by 15 days as requested by the Indian Olympic Association due to an ''extreme shortage of time,'' but agreed to wait for a few more days.

''Within this two-month period we need to establish the evaluation team that will visit the bidding cities and submit its report to the OCA executive board on 19th September,'' the OCA said in a letter to IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta. ''However, if you are able to still submit the guarantees within the next couple of days, OCA is willing to consider IOA's bid very positively.''

India's bid was delayed after officials were unsure whether to apply in the wake of criticism of the organization of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, but decided to go ahead with the bid once it found the government open to the idea of hosting the games.

India held the inaugural staged of the Asian Games in 1951 and also the 1982 edition, both in New Delhi.

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