Junking SEA Games hosting not embarrassing | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Junking SEA Games hosting not embarrassing

/ 05:00 AM July 25, 2017

It’s a good thing that Indonesia and Thailand have shown interest in taking over as host after the Philippine government has dropped the hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

The ongoing war between the government forces and Isis-inspired Maute group in Marawi City is what pushed President Duterte to cancel the hosting of the biennial meet .

However, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is still hopeful that the President will change his mind and reconsider his decision.

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Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chair William Ramirez, announced on Friday that Malacañang decided that it would no longer push through with the SEAG hosting due to the current situation in Marawi and the entire Mindanao, which concerns the safety of the participating athletes.

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Aside from the athletes, there will be thousands of tourists and media practitioners the government will have to protect and secure during the three-week sports spectacle.

Ramirez said funds intended for the hosting will be used to rehabilitate Marawi. It is said that the government needs about P20 billion to restore the war-torn city.

A highly placed source said that President Duterte had even asked the importance of hosting the SEA Games rather than helping the people of Marawi City.

Hosting the biennial meet will cost the Philippine government hundreds of million of pesos or even a billion if new sports venues and facilities will be put up, so it is but proper to divert the funds to Marawi.

If these are the reasons for backing out from hosting the games, it is not that embarrassing as claimed by POC Secretary general Steve Hontiveros.

We are not the original host of the 2019 Games but after Brunei declined in 2015, citing the country’s lack of sports facilities and accommodations, POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco said the Philippines will take over the job.

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Remember that Brunei is far richer than the Philippines.

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Anyway, dropping the hosting of the SEA Games is not the end of the world for our athletes. There will be more biennial meet, so let us first extend help to our brothers and sisters who are suffering in Marawi.

TAGS: 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Sports

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