Vietnam wants tournament to be deferred to next year

Vietnam wants tournament to be deferred to next year

Thai Olympic official Thana Chaiprasit.
Thai Olympic official Thana Chaiprasit.

The 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam could be postponed, a Thai official said yesterday.

Representatives of the 11 member nations yesterday held a virtual meeting to discuss the matter.

Only Vietnam and Myanmar want the 31st SEA Games to be postponed, Thana Chaiprasit, treasurer of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, said after the meeting.

"It seems that Vietnam has decided not to organise the 31st SEA Games this year," Thana said.

He said the other nine members wanted the tournament to take place this year, originally scheduled from Nov 21-Dec 2, because they have already set aside the budget.

The Vietnamese representative was told to discuss the matter with the country's government and inform other members its stance in the next meeting in two weeks, Thana said.

Another option is to allow Vietnam to organise the 34th SEA Games in 2027 and Brunei, the original host of that edition, to stage this year's tournament instead, he said.

Reports claimed Vietnam plans to postpone this year's Games as the country grapples with a new virus outbreak.

Vietnam reportedly wants to move the 31st SEA Games to next year.

"The Vietnam Olympics Committee, the host for SEA Games 31, has sent a letter to countries informing them of its proposal to postpone SEA Games 31 to July 2022 due to the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic," according to Phap Luat Online.

Virus cases have more than tripled in Vietnam since April to over 9,000.

Although the number is low in comparison to most of its Southeast Asian neighbours, Vietnam's vaccination rate per capita is the lowest in the region and among the lowest in Asia, according to an AFP tally.

SEA Games events are due to take place in some of the worst affected provinces including Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, in the country's northeast. 

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