SEA Games faces postponement, says federation source
The Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) scheduled later this year will most likely be held by the middle of next year or scrapped altogether.
This much was revealed by a top official privy to the discussion of the SEA Games Federation, even if on Wednesday, eight of 11 members voted to push through with the Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 Games in Hanoi despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is more of a face-saving move,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The NOC (national Olympic committee) has the rights for the hosting, but it needs its government’s support. If the government won’t allow the Games to happen, the NOC has no choice.”
The Vietnam government had reportedly asked a recommendation from its NOC regarding the staging of the games in the midst of the rising cases in Hanoi and 11 other host cities.
That prompted the Vietnam OC to send out letters and ask the SEA Games Federation opinion.
The official said the SEAG Federation will announce most likely next week the plan to move the date of the Games possibly to July next year.
But moving the dates would be complicated as it will affect the preparation of Cambodia, which will host the next Games in 2023.
There are also reports Vietnam could drop the 2021 hosting and take the 2025 edition originally assigned to Thailand.
Only Vietnam and Myanmar voted for postponement, while Laos deferred pending the decision of its top sports official, according to the source.
The Philippines wants the SEA Games to push through especially because the budget and training have been put in place for some 600 athletes seeing action in the Vietnam capital.
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