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2022 Asian Games faces ‘possibility’ of postponement–official

/ 03:27 PM April 22, 2022
 at the Zhejiang Huanglong Sport Centre Stadium in the city of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang province. - The 2022 Asian Games in China is facing the "possibility" of being postponed, a senior official told AFP on April 21, 2022, after a rumour that it would be moved to next year.

This picture taken on October 18, 2021, shows people at the Zhejiang Huanglong Sport Centre Stadium in the city of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang province.  (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

The 2022 Asian Games in China is facing the “possibility” of being postponed, a senior official told AFP on Thursday, after a rumor that it would be moved to next year.

The Olympic-sized event is scheduled to be held in September in Hangzhou near Shanghai, which is grappling with a major coronavirus emergency.

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“No official decision has been taken by the committee until now, but there is a possibility that it will be postponed,” said Kuwait’s Husain Al-Musallam, director-general of the Olympic Council of Asia, the Games’ governing body.

Most international sports events have been on hold in China since the Covid-19 pandemic, although Beijing hosted the Winter Olympics in a strict bio-bubble in February.

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Shanghai, China’s biggest city, has witnessed the country’s worst Covid outbreak in two years, with weeks-long restrictions keeping most of its 25 million inhabitants confined to their homes.

All 56 competition venues for the Games have already been completed, Chinese organizers said this month, promising to publish a virus-control plan that takes its cue from the Winter Olympics.

“We’re now just making a few final adjustments and improvements to the facilities,” Lu Chunjiang, an official in charge of operations at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre, told state broadcaster CCTV.

Hangzhou, less than 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Shanghai, is scheduled to hold the Games from September 10-25, becoming the third Chinese host after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.

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