THAILAND or Indonesia could step forward to host the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019 following the Philippine government’s decision to give up the event.
Philippines, which only stepped in as hosts when Brunei withdrew in 2015, had been scheduled to host the event in 2019 as it had in 2005.
But the government has opted against hosting the Games due to the ongoing conflict in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. Budget set aside for hosting the event will be redistributed to rehabilitate and rebuild Marawi.
The Philippine Inquirer reports that Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) secretary general Steve Hontiveros said Thailand or Indonesia could host the Games.
However, Hontiveros retains some hope that Manila could still act as host for the multi-sport event.
“There’s still a chance, provided that President Duterte will approve it,” said Hontiveros.
“The next best move for the POC is to convene the general assembly and make a formal appeal to the President.”
For Thailand and Indonesia to be considered as hosts, Hontiveros said, they must forward their respective bids to the SEA Games Federation before the closing ceremony of the 29th edition, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur from August 19-30.
Thailand last hosted the Games in 2007, while Indonesia, where next year’s Asian Games will be held, organised the Games in 2011.