“ACOLOP’s general assembly expressed solidarity with GOA in organising the Games next year,” stated Alex Vong, president, but its general secretary, Mario Rosa de Almeida was quick to add, “On certain conditions to be fulfilled by July 7.” “The approved nine disciplines are – athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, football, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, wushu”, disclosed Alex.
“Wushu will be the new game which was voted by the members. Chess is not an Olympic discipline and, accordingly, was not considered. Futsal was excluded since there is no indoor stadium to international specifications and the members agreed to axe it”, stated GOA secretary Gurudatta Bhakta.
ACOLOP general secretary Mario Rosa clarified that “GOA will have to produce in the first place a time-bound timetable and calendar for the execution of all infrastructure”.
“We will monitor its progress and adherence to the schedules as we will appoint a Technical Committee of our experts who will carry out period inspections every three months to check if work is being executed under the plan,” pointed out Mario Rosa.
“GOA will have to immediately prepare the Technical Manual with all details, besides also provide the specifications discipline-wise. They will have to present the progress report on July 7 in Lisbon at the ACOLOP’s general assembly where everything will be under minute scrutiny. It’s only then that the hosting of the Games in Goa will be finally ratified,” stressed Mario Rosa.
“The ACOLOP members have been given a new ray of hope by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar,” pointed out Mario Rosa. “All of them need to see now quick action-oriented work on the ground and it is only then, they will really believe that the Games would definitely be organised in Goa”.
“We are confident that Goa will ultimately host the prestigious event. We have guarantees from the Chief Minister as well as the Government. We are all sportspersons. Goa has our full backing. It’s like an athlete who enters the competition aiming at gold or a medal. So we need to trust. But, there will be close monitoring by our technical panels from time to time to make sure deadlines are adhered to,” elaborated Alex.
Shripad Naik, MP, GOA president specifying on the venues stated,” as of now athletics will be Pedem Mapusa; football at Fatorda, basketball and volleyball at University ground, Taleigao; judo and taekwondo at Fatorda, TT at Community Hall, Taleigao, beach volleyball at Mira Mar, Wushu at Pernem. There is also a possibility that some of these venues could come up at Farmagudi and Cujira”.
“The new Government has already earmarked Rs 60 crore for Lusofonia and National Games”, stated SAG’s Executive Director, V M Prabhudesai. “The Centre has already committed Rs 67 crore”.
“There are plenty of jobs to be undertaken immediately. It is a gigantic task given our commitment and the great expectations especially from ACOLOP members,” Prabhudesai remarked.
Mario Rosa, summing up, called: “It is upto Goans to have the Lusofonia Games. The Press in Goa should play their role in an effective manner for the realisation of the 3rd edition.”
The Lusophony Games (Portuguese: Jogos da Lusofonia) is a transnational multiple sports event organized by the ACOLOP, which features athletes hailing from Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) countries, which associated with the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries), and other nations and territories where the presence of Portuguese communities is significant or that have a typical past same as Portugal, as well.
The participating countries Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Macau (Chinese SAR), Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe, the founding members, and associate members are Equatorial Guinea, India and Sri Lanka. Besides, Ghana, Flores (an island of Indonesia), Mauritius and Morocco are desirous to take part in future events.
Lusophony Games are conceptually akin to the Commonwealth Games (for members of the Commonwealth of Nations) and the Jeux de la Francophonie (for the Francophonie community).
The inaugural Lusophony Games were organised by Macau, from October 7 to 15 2006. It featured 733 athletes from 11 countries (Equatorial Guinea didn't field any athletes), some of which were global sports stars.
A total of 48 events encompassing eight sports: athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, football, futsal, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball were contested in this competition. Portugal and Brazil topped the medals tally of the Games. Both the countries together collected 85% of the titles, and 71% of the total medals of the Games. All participants won the medals.
Until now there are no regulations pertaining to the list of sports that should be contained in the Games schedule. For the first edition, the sports were chosen were debated about and finalized by the ACOLOP's members on general assembly. However, these were not based on any criteria of future 'core' and 'rotating' sports from a list of approved ones.
The president of the organizing committee for the 2009 Lusophony Games, José Vicente de Moura on October 14 2006, mentioned the likelihood of the ACOLOP proposing four or five core sports to be included on every future edition, in addition to the host country’s prerogative for the host country to propose three of four more to a maximum of nine sports.