The South East Asian Games (SEAG) slated for later this year will most likely take place in the middle of next year or be phased out altogether.
This was revealed by a senior official familiar with the discussion on the SEA Games Federation, even though on Wednesday eight of 11 members voted in favor of the Games from November 21 to December 2 in Hanoi despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s more about saving face,” said the official, who requested anonymity. “The NOC (National Olympic Committee) has the hosting rights, but it needs the support of its government. If the government does not allow the Games to take place, the NOC has no choice.
The Vietnamese government has reportedly requested a recommendation from its NOC regarding the organization of the games amid growing cases in Hanoi and 11 other host cities.
This prompted the CO of Vietnam to send letters and seek advice from the SEA Games Federation.
The official said the SEAG federation will most likely announce plans to move the date of the Games to possibly July next year next week.
But moving the dates would be complicated because it will affect the preparation of Cambodia, which will host the next Games in 2023.
It has also been reported that Vietnam may drop the 2021 hosting and take the 2025 edition originally awarded to Thailand.
Only Vietnam and Myanmar voted for the postponement, while Laos deferred pending the decision of its top sports official, according to the source.
The Philippines wants the SEA Games to continue, especially as the budget and training has been put in place for some 600 athletes in action in the Vietnamese capital.
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