11 July 2024

The Southeast Asian Games, which were due to take place in Vietnam this year, have been postponed because of the pandemic and will most likely be held in 2022, a member of the organising council said Thursday.

The regional Olympics were scheduled to be held in Hanoi and 11 other locations from November 21 to December 2.

But Vietnam is struggling to contain a new coronavirus outbreak, and many Southeast Asian Games events were planned in provinces hard hit by the fresh wave of infections.

“Definitely, the 31st SEA games will not (be hosted) this year as scheduled in November,” said Varin Tansuphasiri, Games Council member and deputy secretary of the Thai Olympic Committee.

“Vietnam wants to postpone the Games until next year, 2022.”

The postponement was due to the pandemic, he said, with Vietnam proposing to host the Games in April or May next year.

The announcement comes after Vietnam announced nine million people in Ho Chi Minh City would go into lockdown for two weeks in the early hours of Friday.

Virus clusters have appeared up and down the country, including in the northern industrial provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, where Games events were due to take place.

The country has recorded nearly 23,500 infections and 105 deaths.

Prior to this outbreak, which began in late April, fewer than 3,000 cases had been recorded in Vietnam.