BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Oct 25: The next edition of South Asian Federation (SAF) Games will be held from February 6 to 16 next in Guwahati and Shillong.
This was announced at a joint press conference here today by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Indian Olympic Association secretary general Rajiv Mehta.
Over 4,000 players and officials from eight countries would be participating in 23 events, of which 16 will be held in Guwahati and rest in Shillong.
Gogoi said though the Games were tentatively scheduled to be held in mid-January (January 10 to 20), the dates were postponed to February on request of the Assam government as the origil dates coincided with the Magh Bihu celebrations in the State.
Mehta said the security aspect was discussed with Gogoi today and he will meet the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister in New Delhi soon over the issue.
To a question on special security for Pakistani players, he said it will also be taken up and the Pakistani contingent has confirmed participation.
"The event will be conducted by the Indian Olympic Association. The Assam Olympic Association will conduct the events in Guwahati. Our job is only to help and facilitate the organizers. As the tiol Games were held here in 2007, we have an infrastructure in place which is a big advantage for us. Though the participants will be less as compared to the tiol Games, but the event is associated with the prestige of the country, so we have a greater responsibility in our hands," the Chief Minister added.
Rajiv Mehta said the Games will be a mega-event and he hoped that it will be a success as the "tiol Games held in Guwahati was one of the most successful games ever organized."
The SAF Games will be the first major multi-discipline intertiol sporting event in the State.