Important decisions will be made on the fate of the 31st Southeast Asian Games next week.
With the government of Vietnam making plans to postpone the biennial meet, eight member nations in Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Thailand, and Philippines will continue efforts to appeal so that it will still be held within the year.
“Maraming bansa ang tutol. Naka-prepare na sila. May momentum na,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino.
Vietnamese authorities are keen on postponing the games because of rising COVID-19 cases, which have tripled from April to over 9,000 cases.
But the number is extremely low compared to most of its Southeast Asian neighbors.
There has been a reported spike in cases in seven localities, including Ho Chi Minh City, which is one of the main hubs, where the games will be held.
Tolentino said member nations and the Vietnam SEA Games Organizing Committee will meet again on June 24 for a final decision.
The regional meet is supposed to be held in Hanoi and 11 other locations from November 21 to December 2, but organizers want to reset it for next year in July.
The POC chief said it will not be possible to have the SEA Games held next year because there are many other major international meets that will be held.
This includes the 2022 Winter Games, the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games, the Islamic Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.