New Delhi: Ending days of speculation, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday officially informed the Olympic Council of Asia its expression of interest to bid for the 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam capital Hanoi withdrew its hosting rights in April this year.

IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta on Friday sent an official letter addressed to OCA chief Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah saying that India would like host the 2019 Asian Games in New Delhi.

“I have the pleasure to inform you that the Indian Olympic Association would officially like to submit its bid for hosting 18th Asian Games in the city of Delhi, India, as per the Constitution of the Olympic Council of Asia," Mehta wrote in the letter.

“The members of the IOA have approved the bid for the hosting of 2019 Asian Games. We are in dialogue with ministry of youth affairs and sports, Govt. of India for obtaining the necessary approvals. We request the bid documents may be sent to us, so that IOA can submit its bid for hosting the 18th Asian Games," he added in the official letter.

Mehta said that the IOA will approach the government after the OCA sends the bid documents.

“We will approach the sports ministry after the OCA sends us back the bid documents and inform us about the requirements for presenting the bid," Mehta, who is outside the country, told PTI.

The deadline for the submission of official bid documents to the OCA is 1 July.

He also said that IOA president N.Ramachandran had authorised him to send the official communication to OCA about India’s intent to host the 2019 Asian Games.

“My president has authorised me to proceed with the bidding process and send the official communication to the OCA to express India’s intention to host the Games. He has informed me that he will go with what the General House of the IOA decides," the secretary general said. PTI

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