The 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which is scheduled to take place from 21 November through to 2 December in Hanoi is at risk of being postponed due to the rising Covid-19 cases in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, Malaysian online portal The Vibes has posted as an exclusive report.
Citing unnamed sources in the sports fraternity, The Vibes reported that a meeting to be held on June 9 between the SEA Games organising committee and the National Olympic Councils of the respective countries will discuss further the possibility of a postponement of the biennial event.
The source was quoted as saying that the Vietnamese organisers have “written to all the NOCs about the postponement and on June 9, they will have a virtual meeting to elaborate more on the matter.”
As many as 40 sports with 520 events were expected to be held in the capital city of Hanoi and 11 other provinces and cities, including Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, Hai Duong, Vin Phuc, Bac Giang and Phu Tho.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed that as of June 7, the number of cases have reached 8,580 with 49 deaths.
The latest cases have been reported in Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Name, where some of the SEA Games events were scheduled to take place.
On 18 May, the Chief Executive Officer of Sport Singapore Lim Teck Yin had raised the possibility about the SEA Games being co-hosted across various regional countries and added that if required, Singapore “stands ready” to help stage part of the biennial affair “in the spirit of sport and Asean solidarity”.
The report of what he had said was only carried in the Straits Times on 31 May, almost two weeks after made the suggestion.
The last SEA Games was held in the Philippines at the end of 2019, but the ASEAN Para Games which was scheduled to be held in January 2019 was postponed and subsequently cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.