|The SEA Games are expected to attract nearly 20,000 participants, including about 7,000 athletes, from 11 countries, according to state media. Vietnam last hosted the SEA Games in 2003. (File photo by=AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] SINGAPORE: Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) announced that eight out of 11 member states of the Southeast Asian Games Federation have objected to Vietnam's proposal to postpone the competition over COVID-19 fears, the SEA Games Federation Office called a special meeting on Wednesday (Jun 9) to discuss the proposal, the OCM added in a statement.
Vietnam is due to host the biennial SEA Games from Nov 21 to Dec 2. Previously, on Wednesday, Vietnamese media reported that the country had informed member states of its plans to postpone the Games to July 2022 due to the COVID-19 situation. "Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the region, it is the wish of the Organising Committee of Vietnam to host the 31st edition of the SEA Games in a safe and secure manner," OCM's statement read.
OCM also said that eight of the 11 member states objected to the postponement due to the "busy sports schedule" next year. ESPN, quoting Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino, said Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor Leste voted against postponement. The two yes votes came from Vietnam and Myanmar while Laos abstained. Tolentino said in the report that the final decision still lies with Vietnam. CNA has sought comment from the SEA Games Federation Office, which is based in Bangkok.