The SEA Games Federation, according to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, gave Vietnam an ultimatum in October to decide whether to hold the Games in 2022 or cancel them outright.
The 31st South East Asian Games were originally scheduled for December but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The consensus was for Vietnam to make a decision. Otherwise, the 31st SEA Games would be canceled,” said Tolentino.
The virtual meeting held last Friday with the Federation, Tolentino mentioned they decided that a late May 2022 schedule was the most convenient and logical for the 11 member countries.
“There are three major Asian and two international competitions in 2022,” Tolentino said. “That leaves Vietnam a very small window to hold the SEA Games.”
The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games are scheduled from March 10 to 20 in Thailand, while the Asian Games are set for September 10 to 25 in Hangzhou, China. The Asian Youth Games will be held in Shantou, China from December 20 to 28.
Meanwhile, the Beijing Winter Olympics will take place from February 4 to 20, and the IOC-sanctioned World Games are from July 7 to 22 in Birmingham, Alabama.
“All these five competitions are major events. They are staged once every four years,” said Tolentino.
The next SEA games hosting would be 2027 if Hanoi is cancelled, Tolentino said
“Thailand is the host of the 33rd edition in 2025 and as of now, Laos or Brunei has yet to confirm for 2027,” he said. “If these two countries pull back, then Vietnam gets its turn back.”
additional report: ABS CBN news, ESPN
Image source: SPIN.ph , insidethegames