SEA Games 31 postponed to 2022

By Lam Dong   July 8, 2021 | 08:53 pm GMT+7
SEA Games 31 postponed to 2022
The Vietnam delegation at SEA Games 30 in the Philippines in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
The Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) has decided to move SEA Games 31, to be hosted in Vietnam, to July 2022 because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation in the region.

The decision was made Thursday at an online conference of the SEAGF with the Olympic Committees of Southeast Asian countries.

On June 9, the Vietnam Olympic Committee had proposed that the SEA Games 31 be moved from late 2021 to July 2022.

Since the new wave in Vietnam started on April 27, the country has recorded over 20,000 cases in 57 of its 63 cities and provinces. The pandemic situation in other countries in the region is also getting more complicated, causing difficulties for the athletes as well as promotion work of the event.

Another big challenge for hosts Vietnam is guaranteeing safety for around 20,000 athletes, coaches, officials, referees and staff of the delegations, not to mention the fans. Therefore, hosting the event this year had become almost untenable.

This is the second time that the SEA Games hasn't taken place during an odd year, the first being in 1963, when Cambodia could not host the event due to political instability.

SEA Games 32, hosted by Cambodia, is set to take place in 2023.

SEA Games 31 was initially set to take place from November 21 to December 2 this year in 12 localities of Vietnam. The event has 40 sports, most of which are Olympic sports.

At SEA Games 30 in 2019, Vietnam ranked second overall with 98 gold medals, after the host Philippines.

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