|Vietnam receives the SEA Games federation flag during turnover ceremonies of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. (Photo by=MARIANNE BERMUDEZ)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] A source told the Inquirer on Thursday that the SEA Games “is in danger of getting canceled for good,” following Vietnam’s decision to call off the International Badminton Challenge set March 22 to 27 because of rising coronavirus cases in the country, PH Inquirer reported.
The badminton competition had been postponed three times already, even as The Star Malaysia reported 16,513 new cases and 240 deaths in Vietnam last Saturday alone, with Hanoi having the most number of positive cases at 2,791. The development failed to alarm the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), which said a meeting among chef de missions (CDM) on Jan. 18 will be the decider. “It’s not confirmed,” POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino told the Inquirer on Thursday. “The confirmed thing is [that there will be] the CDM meeting on Jan. 18,” added Tolentino, adding that decisions made in that gathering is “more believable.”
The Vietnam government had earlier postponed the initial Games schedule of Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 because of the pandemic. The SEA Games Federation, according to an Inquirer source, is set to convene on Jan. 19 to take up entry by numbers. So far it had only received that of Myanmar’s. Sources noted that by this time, just four months before the SEA Games, the organizers should have been finalizing entries by names already.