SINGAPORE: This year’s Southeast Asian Games due to take place in Vietnam has been postponed to 2022.
“The SEA Games Federation working committee met today and it was decided that the SEA Games will not be held this year,” said the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) on Thursday (Jul 8).
READ: Vietnam’s proposal to postpone SEA Games opposed by most member states: Malaysian Olympic council
The biennial event was due to take place in Hanoi and 11 other locations from Nov 21 to Dec 2.
Vietnam’s national Olympic committee will explore new dates for consideration, added SNOC.
“The SNOC will adjust the selection policy accordingly to reflect the new dates once the details are confirmed,” it said, referring to the selection of Singapore athletes for the Games.
READ: Vietnam orders COVID-19 lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City
Deputy secretary of the Thai Olympic Committee Varin Tansuphasiri said the SEA Games will “definitely” not (be hosted) this year as scheduled in November.
“Vietnam wants to postpone the Games until next year, 2022,” said Tansuphasiri, who is also a Games Council member.
The postponement was due to the pandemic, he said, with Vietnam proposing to host the Games in April or May next year.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia also released a statement confirming the postponement. It said that the SEA Games Federation met on Thursday and agreed to move the Games to 2022.
It added that members “praised the work done thus far by (Vietnam) but took note of the current (COVID-19) conditions” there.
It was reported last month that eight out of 11 member states of the SEA Games Federation had objected to Vietnam’s proposal to postpone the competition over concerns about next year’s “busy sports schedule”.
COVID-19 LOCKDOWN IN VIETNAM
On Wednesday, Vietnam announced that nine million people in Ho Chi Minh City would go into lockdown for two weeks in the early hours of Friday.
Virus clusters have appeared up and down the country, including in the northern industrial provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, where Games events were due to take place.
The country has recorded nearly 23,500 infections and 105 deaths.
Prior to this outbreak, which began in late April, fewer than 3,000 cases had been recorded in Vietnam.
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