April, 17 2014 21:40:00

Viet Nam declines to host Asian Games

Vietnamese athletes attend the 16th ASIAD in Guangzhou, China. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has said Viet Nam was not in a financial position to host the 18th Asian Games (ASIAD 18) in Ha Noi in 2019.

The nation becomes the third country to decline holding the games because of financial difficulties. The other two countries were South Korea and Pakistan.

The PM said the Politburo, the Party Secretariat and the Government were originally prepared to host regional and international games, including ASIAD, to help the country's sporting and socio-economic development.

The Vietnamese Government thanked the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for assisting Viet Nam in sports development in general and in backing Ha Noi as host for the games.

However, he said, Viet Nam did not have enough experience at hosting such big sporting events.

He said there was also no plan to ensure the ASIAD organisation would be a success.

The PM did not approve the ASIAD organisation plan. There were different opinions about the purpose and meaning of hosting the event, particularly about funding.

Dung said regional and international games would contribute to the country's socio-economic development, but unless there was careful organisation, there could be negative impacts.

The organisation of big games in Viet Nam and throughout the world proves that sources of income from such events did not always equal costs.

He said structures built for such events were not used effectively after the events finished.

The PM said Viet Nam's socio-economic situation had many difficulties while the State budget was limited and must be used for investment in higher priority tasks.

In addition, there was no guarantee of returns from any investment in building projects for ASIAD, he said.

After considering all these factors, the PM instructed the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ha Noi authorities to return Viet Nam's host position.

Viet Nam would register to host the event at a later and more appropriate time, he said. — VNS

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