SEA Games

Vietnam given October deadline to decide on SEA Games fate


CRUCIAL DECISION. Vietnam's hosting of the Southeast Asian Games hangs in the balance.

Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

The SEA Games Federation gives Vietnam until October to decide whether it will hold the quadrennial meet in 2022 or cancel it altogether

The clock is ticking on 31st Southeast Asian Games host Vietnam.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said the SEA Games Federation gave Vietnam until October to decide whether it will host the quadrennial meet in Hanoi in 2022 or cancel it altogether.

During an online meeting last Friday, September 17, the federation agreed that staging the SEA Games in May is the most convenient and logical date for all 11 member countries.

“The consensus was for Vietnam to make a decision, otherwise, the 31st SEA Games would be canceled,” Tolentino said.

If the SEA Games will push through in May, it will be held between other major international tournaments.

The Thailand Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will take place in March, Hangzhou Asian Games in September, and Shantou Asian Youth Games in December.

Meanwhile, the Beijing Winter Olympics is set in February and the World Games in the United States is slated in July.

“All these five competitions are major events, they are staged once every four years,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino said Cambodia, which will host the 32nd edition in February 2023, asked for a comfortable window to complete its preparations, giving Vietnam only until the end of May to mount the Games.

“We understand the situation of Cambodia because as hosts in 2019, we had two years at least to prepare for our successful campaign and hosting,” Tolentino said.

“Cambodia wants to excel in its hosting debut and, in fact, all infrastructure and collaterals for the 32nd SEA Games are ready.”

Tolentino added that Vietnam could take its turn in 2027 if the Hanoi hosting will be called off. –