Vietnam has decided to give up the right to host the 2019 Asian Games (Asiad) that it won in 2012, according to conclusions reached in a central meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other government offices on Thursday.
Following careful considerations, the premier instructed the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to work with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and involved partners on a withdrawal plan, according to an April 17 statement of the government office obtained by Tuoitrenews.
The government leader expressed thanks to OCA for their support and assistance to the development and growth of sports activities in Vietnam as well as supporting the country’s bid to host the quadrennial sporting event.
He admitted that Vietnam doesn’t have experience of organizing a large international sporting event like Asiad and will bid for hosting it at a proper time in the future.
Financial problem is also cited as a major reason for the withdrawal. “The global financial crisis and economic depression has affected Vietnam’s economy severely while the state and local budgets are very limited and have to be earmarked for other urgent [socio-economic] tasks” – the prime minister told the meeting.
In 2012 the Olympic Council of Asia awarded Vietnam the right to organize the 2019 Asiad after the country beat Indonesia in a race.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has said that the country will only need an estimated US$150 million to hold this multi-sport event.
But many government ministries have argued that such an amount will not be enough for hosting the competition, adding that the real fee will be multiple times that number so Vietnam should not host it.
A recent Tuoi Tre survey that received 13,661 votes from its readers showed that 84 percent of the respondents did not support the idea of Vietnam organizing the 2019 Asiad. They suggested that Vietnam return the right and pay a fine instead. A mere 14 percent voiced their approval of the organization of the sports event in Vietnam.
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