Vietnam has requested the Southeast Asian Games Federation for a two-week window to decide whether to proceed with or postpone the 2021 Southeast Asian Games.

/ 27 June 2021

In a virtual meeting of the SEA Games Federation Council on Thursday, Vietnam asked for an extension until July 8 to make a decision regarding the fate of the biennial sporting event.

“They are hesitant to make a decision,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino, who attended the online meeting.

Following an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Vietnamese government proposed two weeks ago that the SEA Games be moved from November this year to July 2022.

The Philippines, along with seven other federation members—Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Brunei, Cambodia—voted against the postponement of the regional sporting meet and tried to persuade the host country to hold the games as scheduled.

Meanwhile, Myanmar agreed to the proposal of Vietnam to push back the schedule while Laos abstained.

As the staging for the SEA games remained uncertain, Tolentino said that the POC will respect Vietnam’s decision on the matter.

“We will respect the decision of Vietnam because we cannot do anything if they say the games are postponed,” he said.

The SEA Games are scheduled to take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, from November 23 to December 2, with the Philippines aiming to send over 600 athletes to compete in 39 out of the 40 sporting events.