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Vietnam refuses to host Asian Games
Publication Date : 18-04-2014
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam was not in a financial position to host the 18th Asian Games (ASIAD 18) in Hanoi in 2019.
The nation becomes the third country to decline holding the games because of financial difficulties. The other two countries were South Korea and Pakistan.
The PM said the Politburo, the party secretariat and the government were originally prepared to host regional and international games, including Asiad, to help the country's sporting and socio-economic development.
The Vietnamese government thanked the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for assisting Vietnam in sports development in general and in backing Hanoi as host for the games.
However, he said, Vietnam did not have enough experience at hosting such big sporting events.
He said there was also no plan to ensure the Asiad organisation would be a success.
The PM did not approve the Asiad organisation plan. There were different opinions about the purpose and meaning of hosting the event, particularly about funding.
Dung said regional and international games would contribute to the country's socio-economic development, but unless there was careful organisation, there could be negative impacts.
The organisation of big games in Vietnam and throughout the world proves that sources of income from such events did not always equal costs.
He said structures built for such events were not used effectively after the events finished.
The PM said Vietnam's socio-economic situation had many difficulties while the State budget was limited and must be used for investment in higher priority tasks.
In addition, there was no guarantee of returns from any investment in building projects for Asiad, he said.
After considering all these factors, the PM instructed the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Hanoi authorities to return Vietnam's host position.
Vietnam would register to host the event at a later and more appropriate time, he said.