The Southeast Asian Sports Council received high support for the proposal to postpone the 31st SEA Games – scheduled to be held later this year in Vietnam – because of the complicated Covid-19 situation in the region.
The proposal was made during an online session of the Southeast Asian Sports Council (SEAGF) with the Olympic Committees of the member countries. The conference was attended by 20 delegates, representing 11 National Olympic Committees, and leaders of members of the SEAGF Office. Attendees all supported the postponement of this SEA Games.
Earlier, in an online meeting on June 9, the Vietnam Olympic Committee proposed a plan to postpone the 31st SEA Games, and move it to July 2022.
Covid-19 broke out again in Vietnam, with thousands of community infections since April 27. That fact, combined with the complicated development of the epidemic in many Southeast Asian countries, has affected athletes’ training, while commercial marketing campaigns are also difficult to achieve the desired results.
Ensuring medical care for about 20,000 athletes, coaches, officials, referees, and logistics staff of sports delegations, not to mention fans, is also a big challenge. In that situation, it becomes impossible to hold the 2021 SEA Games as scheduled this year.
This is the second time since the SEA Games was born in 1959, the Games did not take place in odd years. In 1963, the tournament was also canceled due to political circumstances in Cambodia. The 2023 SEA Games will take place in Cambodia in May.
The 31st SEA Games was originally scheduled to take place from November 21, 2021 to December 2, 2021 in 12 provinces and cities including Hanoi, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Ha Nam, Hai Duong, Hoa Binh, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, and Phu Tho. Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh and Quang Ninh. The congress consists of 40 subjects, most of which are Olympic subjects.
At the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019, Vietnam ranked second in the whole team with 98 gold medals, after the host Philippines. It was the first time that Vietnam was not the host but stood above Thailand on the medal table.
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