Thailand ready to step in for Philippines as 2019 SEA Games host
Olympic Committee of Thailand (OCT) secretary-general Charouck Arirachakaran said Monday that the Kingdom has the capacity and infrastructure to host the Southeast Asian Games in 2019, if the Philippines pulls out and other countries in the region fail to step in.
The Kingdom would be ready to take over the organization of the Games if the Philippines officially withdraws from hosting the 30th Games, he said.
“Thailand have the potential to host the Games within a span of two years. Besides, the Games doesn’t require an athletes village,” Charouck said during the OCT executive board meeting Monday.
“We have provinces such as Chiang Mai and Chon Buri, which have enough competition venues and can accommodate a large number of athletes,” said the OCT official.
Last moth the Philippines said it is dropping the hosting of the 30th SEA Games to be held in Davao City in 2019 to re-channel government resources in favor of the rehabilitation efforts for the beleaguered city of Marawi.
However, Charouck said the Philippines must make its withdrawal official during the SEA Games Federation Council meeting on August 17-18 in Kuala Lumpur.
Vietnam and Cambodia, who are the hosts of the 2021 and 2023 editions, need to make a decision to take charge of the 30th edition. If the two nations refuse, Thailand as the next country in alphabetical order will take the place of the Philippines.
Charouck said the OCT would step forward only if the Thai government gives the nod.
Meanwhile, a few members of the Thai delegation will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha at the government house this morning before embarking on their trip to Malaysia. Around 404 athletes will take part in the SEA Games, which starts on August 19.
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