|The Vietnamese national women’s football team celebrate winning the 30th SEA Games 2019. They may not have the opportunity to attend the 31st SEA Games this year. — Photo vietnamnet.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The 31st SEA Games hosted by Việt Nam later this year is likely to be postponed until April or May 2022.
Discussions about the sporting event were held during an online meeting of the Southeast Asian Sports Federation (SEAGF).
Attending the SEAGF meeting were 25 representatives from 11 national Olympics committees. The Vietnamese delegation attended the conference with three members including Trần Đức Phấn, deputy director of National Sports Administration, Hoàng Vĩnh Giang, deputy chairman of Việt Nam Olympics Committee and ông Trần Văn Mạnh, general secretary of Việt Nam Olympic Committee.
The region’s largest sporting event was originally scheduled to take place in Việt Nam later this year. However, the fresh coronavirus outbreak has cast a shadow over preparations, forcing the hosts to propose delaying the competition until next year.
The delegates expressed concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Việt Nam and other countries in the region and they suggested that the best time to host the games would be April or May 2022.
A number of international sporting events are due to take place next year, including the Winter Olympic Games in China in February, the Asian Indoor and the Martial Arts Games in Thailand in March, the Commonwealth Games in England in July, and the Asian Games in China in September.
Therefore, representatives said April or May 2022 would be a suitable time for the 31st SEA Games. This time would also be suitable for Cambodia to have enough time to prepare for the 32nd SEA Games, which will take place from May 5 to 17, 2023.
According to Phấn, deputy director of National Sports Administration, the 31st SEA Games Organising Committee has consulted with the Vietnamese Government to choose the best time to organise the event. After the Government approves, Việt Nam will notify countries in the region.
Many of the countries taking part in the tournament have plans in place to vaccinate their athletes. However, Việt Nam doesn’t have a special mechanism related to the vaccine passport policy. In addition, the preparation for the Games in Việt Nam faced many difficulties. Many works are behind schedule and funding hasn’t been supplied.
Both Thailand and Brunei have been confirmed as hosts of the 33rd and 34th SEA Games in 2025 and 2027, respectively.
The next online meeting of the SEAGF members will be held virtually on July 8 and Việt Nam is expected to have an answer related to organise the SEA Games 31 on that day. — VNS