PH withdraws interest from 2019 SEA Games hosting due to Marawi conflict

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 21, 2017

The Philippines will no longer proceed with the hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games after Malacañang informed the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) yesterday that government resources would instead be channeled to war-torn Mindanao.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez said senior government authorities had approved the decision to turn down the hosting in light of the conflict now gripping the city on Mindanao island, The Inquirer reported.

"It has been resolved that government resources to be focused in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Mindanao specially Marawi".

The government of President Rodrigo Duterte is still trying to resolve the problem in Marawi City.

Muslim militants flying the black flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group occupied parts of the southern city of Marawi two months ago, triggering prolonged fighting with military forces.

The Philippines agreed in 2015 to host the 2019 SEA Games after two other countries, Brunei and Vietnam, declined.

"Rest assure that we would always support our national athletes in their quest for medals and honors in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur this August until na 2020 Tokyo Olympics", he said.

"Further, when all is clear and peace and order had improve after 2020 Olympics and in the future, we are positive and willing to host the SEA Games or any other global sporting events".

POC has the authority to withdraw from the event but without government assistance and support, hosting such global sports meet would be hard.

The last time the Philippines hosted the regional competition was in 2005, the country emerged overall champion harvesting 113 gold medals.

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