Fed­er­a­tion to look into Philip­pines’ with­drawal as host

New Straits Times - - Sport -

THE Sea Games Fed­er­a­tion (SEAGF) will de­lib­er­ate on Aug 18 over the de­ci­sion by the Philip­pines to un­of­fi­cially with­draw from host­ing the 2019 Sea Games edi­tion.

How­ever, Olympic Coun­cil of Malaysia (OCM) sec­re­tary gen­eral Datuk Low Beng Choo said the coun­cil will try to as­sist their Filipino coun­ter­parts in pos­si­bly host­ing the bi­en­nial games.

Beng Choo re­vealed that the Philip­pines Olympic Coun­cil (POC) are still keen in host­ing the bi­en­nial games and that they have yet to sub­mit an of­fi­cial with­drawal let­ter.

“The Philip­pines gov­ern­ment ap­pears re­luc­tant to host the games. How­ever, we know they have the ca­pa­bil­ity (to host) from a fi­nan­cial sense,” said Beng Choo.

“We be­lieve the con­flict in the coun­try will not go on for too long. If they are given time to set­tle a few im­por­tant is­sues, they could be able to pull off the games with­out any prob­lems.

“We have been in­formed that POC have made an ap­peal to pres­i­dent (Ro­drigo) Duterte about this is­sue and we hope they will be able to make a de­ci­sion be­fore the SEAGF meeting on Aug 18.”

POC had pre­vi­ously stated that they are with­draw­ing their role as hosts of the next Sea Games cit­ing a lack of fi­nances as well as is­sues with se­cu­rity due to the on­go­ing con­flict in Marawi, Min­danao.

Beng Choo dis­closed that the SEAGF flag will be handed over to SEAGF pres­i­dent Tunku Im­ran Tuanku Ja’afar at the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in Bukit Jalil on Aug 30 if there is no con­firmed host for the 2019 edi­tion.

“If the Philip­pines are host­ing the next games, then Malaysia will pass on the flag to them,” she added. Syafiq Az­nan

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