Indonesia has rejected Vietnam’s plea as the host of Southeast Asian Games 2021 to postpone the event from this December to mid-next year, an official said on Thursday.
Indonesia joined Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand on persisting the event to proceed as originally scheduled, secretary of the Youth and Sports Ministry Gatot S. Dewa Broto said in a statement, reports news agency Xinhua.
Vietnam has cited the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in the country as the main consideration behind the committee’s request to put off the biennial multi-sports event.
Broto said there are already numerous sports events scheduled for next year, such as the Asian Games in China’s Hangzhou, the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Bangkok, Thailand, and the Islamic Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey.
“If the SEA Games occurs next year, it will break the concentration of our athletes who are currently training based on the assumption that the event will commence this December,” he added.
Broto pointed out that postponing the event to next year also means that the Indonesian government would need an additional budget for its athletes, as he perceived as not feasible at this point.
“The Youth and Sports Ministry doesn’t have a large budget compared to other ministries, so we must optimize and handle the budget we currently possess efficiently,” he said.
“It won’t be easy to just ask the Finance Ministry to give us a fund injection boost since the national budget is tightly allocated to all the ministries depending on the government’s priorities.”