Indonesia, Taiwan Express Interest In Staging Asian Games After Vietnam Withdraws
IOC VP Ng Ser Miang said that the Olympic Council of Asia "must move fast to find a replacement city to host the 2019 Asian Games," but ruled out his "suitable Singapore homeland" as an option, according to Patrick Johnston of REUTERS. Vietnam's government announced its "surprise decision" on Thursday to quit as hosts of the event in its capital Hanoi, citing a lack of preparedness and concerns that "holding the multi-sport event for the first time would not prove financially viable." Wealthy Singapore will host the much smaller SEA Games in '15 for 11 Southeast Asian countries in its soon to open $1B sports hub, which includes a 55,000-seat stadium and 6,000-capacity aquatics center, but was not "seeking any extra work load at short notice" (REUTERS, 4/18). The AP reported Indonesia "has the will and the funds to stage the 2019 Asian Games." Indonesia, with the largest economy in Southeast Asia, "was runner-up in the initial bidding process for the games." Indonesia Youth & Sport Minister Roy Suryo said, “We have been waiting for this opportunity for decades and don’t want to wait for another decade." Suryo said that "the games could be held in Surabaya, the country’s second largest city." But in a measure of the potential problems ahead, Indonesia Olympic Committee Chair Rita Subowo "questioned whether the government had enough time to properly prepare for the event" (AP, 4/21). The AFP reported staging the world’s second biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics "requires hundreds of millions of dollars of investment." An OCA official said, "The Jakarta authorities have asked questions about the cost." The source said that Indonesia "is one of three countries that have since shown an interest in hosting the event" (AFP, 4/19). The CNA reported Kaohsiung, Taiwan "expressed possible interest Monday in making a bid to host the 2019 Asian Games." Kaohsiung Department of Sports Head Chen Wu-hsiung said during a city council meeting that "it will assess a plan to bid for the 2019 Asian Games, which it expects will take about one month." Chen was responding to a call by Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Hsin-yu "for the city to make a play for the event " (CNA, 4/21).