By Nick Butler

An intervention from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could be key to the continuation of an India bid for the 2019 Asian Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesA last ditch intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi could be the only way to salvage New Delhi's bid for the 2019 Asian Games after a request by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for a 15-day extension to submit their attempt was turned down by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Following the withdrawal of the original host city - Vietnamese capital Hanoi - earlier this year, India is one of a number of countries to have expressed an interest in taking over the Games in an attempt which would make use of many existing facilities left over from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

But, due to the unresolved nature of discussions with the Government, which was only elected in May, to decide whether the bid should still go ahead, the IOA missed the submission deadline of last Tuesday (July 1).

A request for a 15-day extension was turned down by the continental governing body on the grounds there was not enough time to permit an extension, although they will be allowed an extra "couple of days" to submit their bid documents. 

IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta confirmed a letter had been sent to the Prime Minister's office requesting an immediate meeting, adding to PTI that "now, it all depends on him whether we will bid or not". 

A Games in India would take advantage of many of the existing facilities from the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games ©Getty ImagesA Games in India would take advantage of many of the existing facilities from the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Mehta claimed they would only consider asking the OCA for a further extension of several more days, if there is "some signal from the Government that it is willing to support the bid".

"I have done what I could have and it's late for us to submit the bid, and our fingers are crossed," he said. 

"If the PM gives time to us in the next couple of days and gives the green signal, then the bid will be alive again."

It is thought that the main sticking point with the Government is the proposed cost of the Games, though to be up to $1 billion (£582 million/€736 million), as well as whether several new venues should be built. 

Whatever the outcome of these talks, Indonesia remains the favourite to replace Hanoi as hosts, with the OCA due to make a final decision of the new host city on September 20 during the next edition of the Asian Games in Incheon.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
July 2014: India Olympic Association seek extension to put in bid for 2019 Asian Games after missing deadline
June 2014: New Delhi to bid for 2019 Asian Games after Indian Olympic Association officially confirm interest
June 2014: IOA President contradicts own secretary general that India plans bid for 2019 Asian Games
June 2014: Asian Games could be moved to 2018 to help attract replacement after Hanoi withdrawal
May 2014: Indonesia remain favourites to host 2019 Asian Games despite interest from India