Hanoi Wins 2019 Asian Games Over Indonesian City, Will Cost $150M To $300M
The Olympic Council of Asia announced that Hanoi, Vietnam "has been chosen as the host city" for the 2019 Asian Games, according to Sudipto Ganguly of REUTERS. The city hosted the 2003 Southeast Asian Games and the 2009 Asian Indoor Games and has now "beat Indonesia's Surabaya for the right to stage the 18th edition of the event." OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah announced the decision at its general assembly in Macau, China "without revealing details of the voting." Vietnam's bid, however, "was not without controversy, with some questioning the expense of hosting Asia's largest multi-sport event in what is still a relatively poor country." Vietnam Olympic Committee Secretary General Hoang Vinh Giang said that it "hoped to put on the event for between $150M and $300M" (REUTERS, 11/8).
MIXED REACTION IN VIETNAM: The AFP wrote Hoang "expressed jubilation at the decision." He said: "We won! We won! We won! All our team is happy and pleased. All of Vietnam is happy for getting the Games." However, "reactions on the streets of Hanoi were mixed." A motorbike taxi driver said, "Maybe it will be good as it will help Vietnam to develop our sports more." A local sports fan said he is afraid the money spent on the Games will be a "huge waste" (AFP, 11/8). Hoang said: "This is just not about the Asian Games, it's about creating a new Hanoi. The infrastructure project has already been mapped out, and it will transform Hanoi into a modern city. We have already allocated 39 hectares for an athlete's village, which after the Games will be used for public housing" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 11/8).