Panaji - In a major embarrassment for the Goa government, the organisers of the Lusofonia Games, a multi-disciplinary sports tourney of former Portuguese-ruled colonies have expressed "shock and surprise" as virtually no infrastructure development has taken place for hosting the event next year.
Mario Rosa de Almeida secretary of the AssociaĂ§ĂŁo dos ComitĂ©s OlĂmpicos de LĂngua Oficial Portuguesa (ACOLOP) or the Association of the Portuguese Speaking Olympic Committees who inspected the games sites Friday said that he saw "nothing" in the name of sports infrastructure like stadia, tracks and hostels for athletes. He however said that there was still hope that the change of regime in Goa would help speed up the work.
"I saw nothing! I am surprised that we came last year and surprised that nothing has started and nothing is completed," Almeida said, adding that he was aware that the inspection tour organised by the state government had tried to take him to lure him away from sites which had been inspected last year.
"This is my second visit and as far as infrastructure is concerned, nothing has happened. We have now asked the chief minister to give us a calendar and a time schedule by April so that we can follow the progress," Almeida said, adding that only 15 months were left for the 3rd Lusofonia games which are being hosted by Goa, one of Portugalâ€™s oldest colonies.
Almeida however said that a final decision on the dates and logistics of the event would be take Saturday after a meeting of the ACOLOP council.
He however said that the change in government in Goa would hopefully change things for the better. â€śThe new chief minister has promised that he will deliver the infrastructure on our (ACOLOP) honour and the honour of Goa,â€ť Almeida said.
Similar to the Commonwealth Games, which involves countries which were once colonially ruled by the British Empire, the Lusofonia games, a multi-sport event organized by the ACOLOP, which involves athletes coming from Lusophone or Portuguese-speaking nations, formerly ruled by the colonial power.
Among the countries participating in the 2013 in Goa are Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Macau (China), Mozambique, Portugal and SĂŁo TomĂ© and PrĂncipe. Equatorial Guinea, India and Sri Lanka are associate members of the Games.