Vietnam is expected to host the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2021, pending the Prime Minister’s approval.
The Tuoi Tre (Youth) online newspaper reported that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is working out a document seeking the permission from Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to host the region’s biggest sports event, which is organised every two years.
Vietnam first hosted the SEA Games, organised under the auspices of the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF), in 2003.
Chris Chan of the SEAGF Sport & Rules Committee has sent a letter regarding the SEA Games 2021 to Vietnam’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Anh Tuan, the report said.
Chan said that according to the SEAGF’s Charter, ASEAN members will take turns to host the Games. At a recent meeting in Singapore, the committee agreed that Malaysia would be the hosts in 2017, followed by Brunei in 2019 and then Vietnam in 2021.
The report quoted Vuong Bich Thang, head of the National Sports Administration, as saying:
If the PM agrees with the ministry’s proposal, the Viet Nam Olympics Committee will make its confirmation to SEAGF in the next meeting on June 4 in Singapore.
The Vietnamese committee will take responsibility on making plans for the Games.
If the PM rejects it, we have to inform SEAGF immediately, and it will appoint another country to replace us.
Hosting the Games is not only our right but also the responsibility of all ASEAN nations. It is Viet Nam’s turn to take charge after having participated in many Games in different countries.
He said organising the SEA Games will help Vietnam improve its social infrastructure and develop sports.
The Games are expected to be organised in HCM City (Ho Chi Minh City), the nation’s economics and sports hub, which is home to 91 football fields, the largest being the 25,000-seat Thống Nhất Stadium (pictured) and also the 25,000-seat multiuse 7th Military District Stadium that was one of the venues for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup finals.
The host city does not have to build new facilities, but just needs to upgrade the available ones for the biennial competition.
Hanoi hosted the 22nd Games in 2003 and the Asian Indoor Games in 2009. The city meets all demands for the 2021 SEA Games.
It is expected that the country’s sport sector will spend around 1,757 billion VND (about US$78m) for the organisation of the event.
Image: By Vinhtantran – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4124739