Philippines may host 2019 SEA Games as Brunei withdraws

Agence France-Presse
The Philippines last hosted the SEA Games in 2005, finishing first overall with 113 golds in 291 total medals

The opening ceremony of the 2005 SEA Games in the Philippines, where the Philippines finished number one overall. Photo by Joel Nito/AFP

SINGAPORE – Brunei has pulled out of hosting the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, blaming a lack of venues and preparation time, the Olympic Council of Asia said.

The tiny, resource-rich state apologized to the SEA Games Federation council after announcing its decision at a meeting in Singapore, according to the OCA website.

The Philippines has expressed interest in taking over the 2019 edition of the biennial, 11-nation event, whose latest incarnation formally opens in Singapore on Friday.

(WATCH: Alyssa Valdez leads Philippine entrance at 2015 SEA Games)

Malaysia will host the next games in 2017, Vietnam will hold it them 2021 and Cambodia were confirmed as 2023 organizers at the meeting, the OCA said.

The Federation also accepted ice hockey, ice skating, cricket, bridge and Indonesian martial art tarung derajat as new sports, meaning they are eligible for future SEA Games.

The Philippines last hosted the regional Olympic-style Games in 2005, finishing first overall with 113 golds in 291 total medals.