2019 Asian Games

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The 2019 Asian Games will be the 18th staging of the regional, multi-sport event. Currently, the location is unannounced; originally Hanoi, Vietnam was chosen, over Surabaya, Indonesia, to host the Games. This came after Dubai and the United Arab Emirates pulled out of the running at the last minute during the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly meeting on November 8, 2012.[1] However, on April 17, 2014, the Vietnamese Government announced it was withdrawing from hosting the Games.[2]

Additionally, the Games were originally scheduled for 2018, but during the Olympic Council of Asia's General Assembly meeting in Singapore on July 3, 2009, the committee decided to move the Games to the year before the 2020 Summer Olympics, which means that the 18th Asian Games will be held in 2019.[3]

Currently the OCA is endeavouring to find a new host for the Games within the remaining time frame, and could be move to 2018 to help attract replacement.[4][5] The deadline to submit the bid, proposed by interested potential hosts, is set to July 1, 2014.[6] The OCA will announce the new host city on September 20, 2014.[7]

2012 Bidding results and planning[edit]

2019 Asian Games bidding results
City Country Votes
Hanoi Vietnam Vietnam 29
Surabaya Indonesia Indonesia 14

Back in 2012, three cities were shortlisted by the OCA as candidates to host the Games: Hanoi, Surabaya and Dubai. On November 8, 2012, in Macau, Hanoi was announced as the host for 2019, with 29 votes 'for' versus 14 'against', after Dubai's withdrawal.[8]

Candidate cities[edit]

City Country National Olympic Committee Result
Hanoi  Vietnam Vietnam Olympic Committee Winner
Vietnam officially launched their bid on June 7, 2011.[9] Having previously hosted the 2003 Southeast Asian Games and been selected to host the 2016 Asian Beach Games, the city emerged as the favourite after the government pledged to spend millions of dollars on infrastructure development.[10]
Surabaya  Indonesia National Sports Committee of Indonesia First runner-up
As announced by the Asian Olympic Committee, Vietnam was supported in its hosting of the games[11][12] Indonesia last hosted the Games back in 1962 in Jakarta, while the runner-up was awarded the hosting of the 2021 Asian Youth Games instead.[13] After the loss, Indonesian delegation members claimed that Hanoi's win was influenced by China's huge interest in the country.[8]
Dubai  United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee Withdrew
This is the second time Dubai has bid for the Games after 2014.[14] However, Dubai pulled out at the last minute, instead announcing their intention to focus on future bids.[15] The committee's first vice-president, however, denied any pullout and claimed the UAE's National Olympic Committee "did not apply for hosting 2019 Asian Games" and "only considered" doing so.[16]

Potential bidding cities[edit]

Several other cities expressed interest during the bidding process but pulled out, including:

Planning[edit]

After winning the rights, the organizing committee of Hanoi estimated they can host the Games at a cost of approximately US$150 million,[1] with several facilities being built or upgraded. The athletes' village is planned to be built in Thượng Thanh in Long Bien District, with a capacity of 11,000, while some new facilities will also be built in Xuân Trạch.[24]

Financial constraints and withdrawal[edit]

Concerns[edit]

Previous Host City Spent
Year City Billion
of Dollar[25]
2002 South Korea Busan 2.9
2006 Qatar Doha 2.8
2010 China Guangzhou 20
2014 South Korea Incheon 1.6

In March 2014, lawmakers first raised concerns on whether US$150 million is a realistic budget for the Games, by referring to the amount spent by the previous host city, and claimed that the government may eventually spend over US$300 million. In addition, several stadiums built in conjunction with 2003 Southeast Asian Games were not utilized after the regional events.[26] Former chairman of Vietnam Olympic Committee Ha Quang Du also added that hosting the Asian Games would not boost tourism in Vietnam.[27]

However, on April 11, 2014, Vuong Bich Thang, head of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, assured that 80% of the facilities are available and US$150 million is enough to host the Games. He added that no new athletes' village would be built, but instead hotels, dormitories, and residential quarters would be provided for participating athletes and officials.[25]

The World Bank has since confirmed that there would be no loans for Vietnam for the purpose of building Asiad facilities.[28]

Withdrawal[edit]

On April 17, 2014, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung officially announced Hanoi's withdrawal from hosting the games. He cited unpreparedness and economic recession as the main reasons of the withdrawal, as they have left the country unable to afford the construction of facilities and venues.[2] Statistics imply that the majority of Vietnamese are happy with this decision.[29]

The OCA has announced that is no penalty will be imposed for the withdrawal.[30]

Potential cities takeover[edit]

The OCA has said that Indonesia, China and the United Arab Emirates are candidates for the replacement of Hanoi.[31] Several other countries were mentioned as potential replacements and some countries have been ruled out, as follows:

Interested[edit]

  •  Indonesia – Considered a favorite to host the Games,[32] and willing to do so if selected.[33] Accordingly, Indonesia has emerged as a strong contender for a potential replacement.[34] However, Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) chairwoman Rita Subowo has questioned whether they have enough time for preparation, and the new government may not agree to the plans.[35] The previous runner-up Surabaya — was excluded from the list of potentials as it is currently preparing for the 2021 Asian Youth Games. In May 2014, a delegation from the Olympic Council of Asia, led by vice president Wei Jizhong, visited Jakarta, Bandung in West Java, and Palembang in South Sumatra, to evaluate the cities’ potential as a replacement host city. According to the delegation, Jakarta meets all the Asian Games' technical requirements, while Palembang’s sports facilities were considered insufficient.[36] Indonesia remains best-equipped for the task; according to Wei, no other competitors can offer better conditions than Indonesia for the time being.[37] Bandung also has expressed their interest in hosting the games, and more recently West Java has modernized and built new sport facilities to host the 2016 Pekan Olahraga Nasional, an Indonesian inter-province sporting event.[38] On July 15, a team from Indonesian Ministry for Youth and Sport Affairs held a meeting with South Sumatera's Governor, Alex Noerdin, to check whether Palembang was ready to host the Games or not. It is also stated that Jakarta will serve as co-host if needed.[39]

Considering[edit]

Cancelled[edit]

  •  India – Has expressed interest and is awaiting government approval. If India hosts the Games, the government will exercise the financial powers of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The IOA will only organise the multi-sporting event, a remark which appeared to stem from the experience of 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scandal. New Delhi is considered as potential Indian host.[47] In May 12, 2014, the IOA warned that without Indian government's support, they might running out of time to meet the July 1, 2014 deadline to submit bids to OCA for the Game, citing that it would be tough to get the government assurances in such a short time, although it is highly unlikely that the new government will decide on such a major issue in a hurry. India has previously hosted the Asian Games twice; first in Delhi in 1951 and then again in 1982.[6] However on July 7, 2014, India failed to submit late bid after failing to get an audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, having given an extended deadline by OCA.[48]

No intention[edit]

Games[edit]

Sports[edit]

Originally, Hanoi planned to host 36 sport events during the Games. This would include 28 Summer Olympics sports that were featured at the 2020 Summer Olympics, all of which were decided upon by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7, 2013.[53][54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]