SEOUL, Reuter: India accused Canada on Thursday of using money to help Victoria win the right to host the 1994 commonwealth games.

Victoria, in British Columbia, defeated New Delhi and Cardiff in the voting by members of the commonwealth games federation,

“They spent eight and a half million dollars in lobbying and promised the athletes free training and other things,” said Ravi Mehta, a member of the Indian Bid Committee.

Indian sports minister Margaret Alva said the decision was unfair and a vote of no confidence in the third world.

“They (Victoria) had a lot of money to throw around. But we were the only ones among the three with the necessary in restructure to host the games. There must have been other considerations for denying us the games,” she said.

But Ivor Dent, Head of Canada’s common wealth games federation, rejected the charges, saying: “People will always give reasons for losing.”

Alva said her country was willing to pay the price of losing the election if the reason for this was India’s refusal to allow eight England cricketers, who have played in South Africa to enter the country,

She said the eight, including Captain Graham Gooch, would be allowed to come with the England squad on its winter tour if they came off the United Nations list of sportsmen with South African links.

‘The United Nations would take them off the list if they agreed to sever all links with South Africa, said Alva, whose governments leading campaigner against sporting contacts with Pretoria because of its apartheid policy.

India stayed away from the 1986 commonwealth games in Edinburgh, a move which could have lost it some support in ‘Thursday’s voting. Third world countries boycotted the event in protest against British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s refusal to enforce economic sanctions against South Africa,

But an Indian Olympic Association spokesman said the major factor was the constitution which made no provision for the rotation of the games to other countries. The games have never been held in Asia or Africa.

“We will demand review of the constitution to see that the venues are rotated from continent to continent,” he said,

Article extracted from this publication >> September 23, 1988