Ranchi’s chances of hosting the 20th Asian Athletics Championship hangs in balance, as indecision on the part of the administration and mounting pressure from outside may result in a shift of venue.
The Athletics Federation of India is sandwiched between the state and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Jharkhand Athletics Association general secretary Madhukant Pathak said, “I have been flooded with 50-60 calls everyday asking if we will host the event or not. Colombo is piling immense pressure on India, as it has already expressed interest to host the meet.”
Touted as qualifiers for the Olympics, the mega event was hosted in India only once, way back in 1979 in Delhi. After Chennai refused to play host objecting to participation of Sri Lankan players, Ranchi expressed its willingness. The meet is slated from July 4 to 7.
Things started off on the right note with president of Athletics Federation of India Adille J. Sumariwalla visiting the city on Monday.
Raj Bhavan also formed a five-member panel to submit a feasibility report about the meet in a day’s time. The committee has, however, failed to submit the report so far. A committee member said the delay was the result of heavy workload with the financial year drawing to a close.
The athletics outfit made a presentation at Raj Bhavan on the meet on Saturday. Pathak said the presentation was appreciated, but eyebrows were raised over security.