Vietnam races against time to host SEA Games 31

By Lam Thoa   April 20, 2021 | 04:09 am PT
Vietnam races against time to host SEA Games 31
Gold medalist Tran Thi Minh Huyen performs tai chi at SEA Games 30 on December 1, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
With SEA Games 31 approaching, Vietnam is speeding up preparations despite the complicated Covid-19 situation in Southeast Asia.

"Preparation for SEA Games 31 is still taking place normally. Of course, we hope the pandemic situation would improve, and for a policy that allows Vietnam to welcome vaccine passport holders," Tran Duc Phan, deputy director of the Department of Physical Sports and Education, said Monday.

SEA Games 31 is scheduled to be held in Vietnam from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 featuring 40 sports and 520 categories. The event will take place in Hanoi and 11 northern localities Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, Hai Duong, Vinh Phuc, Bac Giang and Phu Tho.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many preparations for the SEA Games 31 have been postponed.

"The biggest problem for organizers is time. We have very little time to prepare, so we need to work urgently to get things done on time," Phan said.

A series of competition venues like My Dinh National Stadium, the Quang Ninh volleyball gymnasium, and the basketball arena in Hanoi's Thanh Tri District are being renovated and repaired. In addition, the sub-committee of logistics has conducted surveys on hotels to prepare accommodation for thousands of athletes, referees and officials.

SEA Games 31 organizers expect the total budget for the event to be around VND1.7 trillion ($73.8 million). Hanoi and the host localities will also allocate funds from the local budget and other sources to upgrade, renovate and repair venues.

Organizers also expect to attract sponsors to gain funds for the event. On Monday, they signed a contract with a company to become the marketing and sponsor consultant for SEA Games 31 and Para Games 11.

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