Shillong, Jan 4: The cancellation of the 2020 National Games because of the Covid-19 pandemic means that there will likely be a knock-on effect that will prevent Meghalaya from hosting the 2022 edition of the Games as planned, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, said here today.

Goa was meant to host the 2020 national event but this will probably now be pushed back to some time this year.

“The dates are becoming a problem. First Goa was to host the Games in 2020, but it missed it because of Covid-19,” Rijiju said.

He said this on the sidelines of the inauguration of new facilities at the Sports Authority of India Training Centre, which he formally opened.

Goa’s event was already delayed and Covid-19 has become another spanner in the works. For its part, despite the slow progress of infrastructure work, the Meghalaya government has pretty much always sounded confident about hosting the Games, even restarting construction work soon after the onset of the pandemic.

“So next year, whether Meghalaya can do it because of Covid-19, it is not anybody’s fault,” the minister said. “Unfortunately for all of us, this pandemic came and our planning is in jeopardy… it has really disturbed the calendar.”

(Photo: Kiren Rijiju/Facebook)

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