Singapore will not step in to host the 2019 SEA Games after the Philippines backed out of hosting the biennial event.
Last Friday (21 July), the Philippines announced that it would withdraw from hosting the games in order to focus on the “rehabilitation and rebuilding of Mindanao, specifically Marawi, instead of funding the 2019 hosting of the Southeast Asian Games”.
The Philippines had initially stepped in to host the event after Brunei declined, citing the lack of preparation time. The Philippines last hosted the Games in 2005.
“When all is clear, and peace and order had improve [sic] after 2020 Olympics and in the future, we are positive and willing to host the SEA Games or any other international sporting events,” said Philippines Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez.
According to a report in The New Paper, Singapore National Olympic Council secretary-general Chris Chan said it did not make sense for the Republic to host the event again after it had just hosted the Games in 2015.
Chan suggested that other countries could take over. Vietnam and Cambodia are slated to host the Games in 2021 and 2023, respectively. Chan also said the SEA Games Federation may discuss the issue before the Games in Kuala Lumpur opens.
The 2017 edition of the SEA Games will be held in Malaysia from 19 to 30 August. Singapore is sending a total of 569 athletes – the largest-ever contingent for an away SEA Games.