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Friday, 11 May, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Will the Afro-Asian Games be good for India?
They cost $20million and have taken 18 years to prepare. But the first Afro-Asian Games will finally be held in Delhi in November.

Hold-ups, reports of political infighting - and of course money - are causing many people to question whether they will really be a boost to India's sporting profile.

The event it will clash with the international football season, the tennis World Doubles championships and the Champions Trophy hockey tournament.

And with the total budget for other sporting events this year standing at $38million, questions are also being raised over whether the money could have been better spent.

Does India need such an event? Could the money have been better used? Or will the Afro-Asian Games help launch India as a host of international sporting events? Tell us what you think.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Sport has a way of uniting people

A. Rastogi, USA
Sport has a way of uniting people, and this is what the Afro-Asian games will do. As far as India is concerned, it has vast potential in the sports arena, and events such as this, will help publicise it to the general masses. Good luck India!!
A. Rastogi, USA

India with a population of over a billion has been struggling in the last few Olympics to get a single gold medal. Poor training and inadequate exposure in the international arena are two main reasons for this appalling situation. It is sad to see some people here suggest that we should divert even the very meagre amount we spend on sport, while millions are siphoned of by corrupt politicians.
Vivek, USA/ India

Although the idea is nice how much of the vast sum of money will find its way into the pockets of corrupt politicians and officials who are involved in these games? If there is corruption in the Olympics then it is inevitable that it will also be present within these games.
Tina Gunawardhana, UK

The holding of first Afro-Asian Games in India can be seen as a precursor to holding the Olympic Games in the near future. It is a well-known fact that the holding of the Olympic Games gives a boost to the economy of the host country.
Raj Patel, UK/ India

India should not spend money on events like this

Kaushik Kundu, USA/ India
India should not spend money on events like this. Instead it should use available resources for far more important and necessary activities like vaccination, safe water and sanitation. Next it should focus on building infrastructure like roadways, airports and electricity. Only then should money be spent on the games.
Kaushik Kundu, USA/ India

No, we don't need these games. Millions in India suffer and we spend 20 million dollars on games!! What a joke!
Vishal Patel, USA

I think the holding of such games will surely help to build a better relations between the two continents. I also think that it will be worth the money invested.
Ashwin, India

Yes this is a fantastic idea as it is not controlled by and dictated by the self-interest of governing bodies such as FIFA and the IOC. They want to dictate sport for their self-interests.
Harish Vadher, UK

I think it is a wonderful idea whose time has come

Tom Nnakwe, Nigerian
I think it is a wonderful idea whose time has come. Asia and Africa must begin to take initiatives rather than wait for others to create events in which they can participate. This type of initiative will be fully realised among future generations when they become familiar with each other's way of life.
Tom Nnakwe, Nigerian

Waste of money. I also have doubts regarding our organisational skills, given the short notice. I just hope it doesn't turn out to be a total disaster.
Rajesh R, India

Association with athletes from around the world (Africa in this case) is definitely a plus for Indian sports. As far as spending $38 million - it all depends on who is paying. I would not spend taxpayer's money on such an event, especially when we have quite a bit of work to be done on building and/ or improving current infrastructure.
Honey, USA

The question is what does such an event bring into India? The same question was asked when ASIAD was held in New Delhi. Maybe Indians will not win anything, but at least they will be more aware of their sports readiness.
Ganesh Sundararajan, Canada

Sport is one arena where India needs more exposure

Vivek Manchanda, Chicago/ New Delhi
Sport is one arena where India needs more exposure. The more money is spent on it, the more the awareness. Maybe these games will help Indian parents realise that athletics is not a bad profession after all and every Indian cannot and need not become a doctor or a computer engineer.
Vivek Manchanda, Chicago/ New Delhi

The world knows of the poverty that prevails in India today. I don't see the point of hosting these games, when this money could certainly be better spent. India needs to spend money on population control, defence, law enforcement, wildlife protection. Not on these showy facades, which do nothing but take attention and resources away from the people.
Neel Shah, USA

I believe that this will really show the world what India is made of, and that it is a nation that can host such events at international standard and do it well.
Amandeep Bhogal, UK

I think it is a great idea to host the Afro-Asian games. The games will bring a number of developing nations together and hopefully will pave the way for better understanding and goodwill among all of the participating countries. It is also good for India to host international events - its organisational and international event management skills will be tested. These events will enable India one day to host the Olympics as well.
Sundar Raj, Canada

The Asian games launched in India in 1951 have been a huge success. So should the Afro-Asian games. This will also be the ideal stage to identify and develop world-class sportsmen and women from Asia and Africa. Regarding costs, Indian commercial television will surly make this a profitable venture.
Sid Srivastava, India/ USA

Hosting the Afro-Asian games will surely develop brotherhood among the people of the two continents and pave the way for future meetings.
DSA, Ukraine

Listen now
... to both sides of the debate
See also:

23 Apr 01 | South Asia
India clears Afro-Asian games
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