Thailand Open Postponed Due To State Of Emergency, Will Be Moved To Later In Year
This year's Thailand Open "has been postponed after the Thai government declared a 60-day state of emergency in the troubled Southeast Asian country," according to Amlan Chakraborty of REUTERS. Emergency was declared on Wednesday with the Thai government "hoping to prevent an escalation in anti-government protests now in a third month." Originally scheduled from March 13-16 at Thana City Golf & Sports Club on the outskirts of Bangkok, the $1M would be moved to "a more suitable date" later in the year. Thailand Golf Association President Rungsrid Luxsitanonda said, "We want to ensure the environment is stable in order to stage our world class tournament and national Open" (REUTERS, 1/23). KYODO reported Japanese football side Cerezo Osaka has canceled its upcoming training camp scheduled to be held in Thailand "due to the ongoing anti-government protests." The Japanese football club made the announcement on Thursday (KYODO, 1/23). In Hong Kong, Alvin Sallay reported Hong Kong pulled out of next week's Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group Two first-round tie against Thailand in Bangkok "over worries about the safety of the squad." Non-playing captain Chris Lai said, "We will not be traveling to Bangkok as planned especially now that there is a state of emergency in the city. We have informed the International Tennis Federation and asked them to reschedule the tie to be played in Hong Kong" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 1/23).
HURTING FUTURE EVENTS: In Bangkok, Kittipong Thongsombat wrote the country has had plans to bid for the 2023 Asian Games and officials "admit the political problems have diminished" the chances of doing that. National Olympic Committee of Thailand Secretary Gen Charouck Areeratchakaran said, ''We have hosted the Asian Games four times and that is our strong point. But to stage the Games, the political situation in the host country must be stable. Who would want to risk their lives?" (BANGKOK POST, 1/24).