2018 Asian Games
|XVIII Asian Games|
|Host city||Jakarta, Indonesia|
|Opening ceremony||December 5|
|Closing ceremony||December 20|
|Main venue||Gelora Bung Karno Stadium|
The 2018 Asian Games will be the 18th staging of the regional, multi-sport event to be hosted by Jakarta, Indonesia. 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. However, on April 17, 2014, the Vietnamese Government announced it was withdrawing from hosting the Games.
On 19 September 2014, the Olympic Council of Asia executive board approved Indonesia as the host of the 2018 games.
2012 Bidding results and planning
|2019 Asian Games bidding results|
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.
|City||Country||National Olympic Committee||Result|
|Hanoi||Vietnam||Vietnam Olympic Committee||Winner|
|Vietnam officially launched their bid on June 7, 2011. 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.|
|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 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. After the loss, Indonesian delegation members claimed that Hanoi's win was influenced by China's huge interest in the country.|
|Dubai||United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee||Withdrew|
|This is the second time Dubai has bid for the Games after 2014. However, Dubai pulled out at the last minute, instead announcing their intention to focus on future bids. 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.|
Potential bidding cities
Several other cities expressed interest during the bidding process but pulled out, including:
- Hong Kong – On January 14, 2011, the Finance Committee of Legislative Council rejected the budget submitted by the government, cancelling the bid for the Games.
- New Delhi, India – Expressed interest, but the bid was turned down by the government on August 2, 2010, amid allegations of corruption in the organization of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Submitted a bid in January 2010, but pulled out in September 2010 due to financial constraints.
- Taipei, Chinese Taipei – On August 18, 2010, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin announced that Taipei would bid for the Games, but withdrew in March 2012.
After winning the rights, the organizing committee of Hanoi estimated they can host the Games at a cost of approximately US$150 million, 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.
Financial constraints and withdrawal
|Previous Host City Spent|
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. Former chairman of Vietnam Olympic Committee Ha Quang Du also added that hosting the Asian Games would not boost tourism in Vietnam.
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.
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. Statistics imply that the majority of Vietnamese are happy with this decision.
The OCA has announced that is no penalty will be imposed for the withdrawal.
Potential cities takeover
The OCA has said that Indonesia, China and the United Arab Emirates are candidates for the replacement of Hanoi. Several other countries were mentioned as potential replacements and some countries have been ruled out, as follows:
- Indonesia – Considered a favorite to host the Games, and willing to do so if selected. Accordingly, Indonesia has emerged as a strong contender for a potential replacement. 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. 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. Indonesia remains best-equipped for the task; according to Wei, no other competitors can offer better conditions than Indonesia for the time being. 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. 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. On Friday, 25 July 2014, during their meeting in Kuwait City, the Olympic Council of Asia has appointed Jakarta as the host of the next Asian Games. Jakarta will be supported by Palembang as the supporting host. The Indonesian capital city was chosen because it has well-equipped sport facilities as well as adequate transportation networks, and other facilities such hotels and lodgings for guests. The games however, was said to be rescheduled a year earlier, shifted from originally planned 2019 to 2018, citing that in 2019 Indonesians will be preoccupied by their Presidential election, and Jakarta would only need a relatively minimal times to upgrade and renovate their existing sports facilities. The last time Indonesia and Jakarta host the games was in 1962 Asian Games.
- Philippines – The Philippine Olympic Committee announced on August 30, 2014 that it has officially submitted its bid to the OCA after their visit at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Both the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission considered hosting the games when the sports hub in Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, north of Manila was offered to be used for international events by the religious sect Iglesia ni Cristo after it was used in its centennial anniversary. It features the 55,000 seater Philippine Arena and 25,000 seater Philippine Sports Stadium, Philippine Sports Center (swimming and other indoor sporting events). He also proposed holding some sporting events in venues in nearby Manila and even in provinces like Laguna, Negros Occidental as previously done in the hosting of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games. PSC Chairman Richie Garcia said that four or five years would be enough to prepare for the hosting of the games. Garcia said that hosting the games would be possible with full support from the government and the private sector. It will be 65 years since the Philippines previously hosted the games and 100 years since it hosted the 1919 Far Eastern Games.
- Chinese Taipei – Taipei's Sports Affairs Administration said they are interested in other international sports events and New Taipei City is bidding for the 2023 Games. Kaohsiung, meanwhile, claimed they would spend one month for evaluating the possibility of hosting 2019's games.
- Malaysia – Considering, on the proviso that the OCA contributes funding, as the cost of hosting the games at short notice are considered too high. However, Youth and Sports Minister denied any plan to host and stated that their top priority is for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. Tunku Muda Serting Imran has suggested that Malaysia could bid jointly with Singapore in order to manage the rising costs.
- 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. 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. 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.
- China – China has no plan to take over the 2019 Asian Games. The Chinese Olympic Committee has not received any domestic bids nor been approached by the OCA about taking over the event. No Chinese cities have shown any intention to take over so far. Nevertheless a Chinese source named Nanjing, host of the 2014 2nd Youth Olympic Games, as a potential city to take over should OCA seeks China's help. The last time China hosted the Asian Games was 2010 in Guangzhou.
- Burma – Downplayed the chance due to lack of expertise and manpower in organisation.
- Japan – Not interested, as they are focussing on the 2020 Summer Olympics and also the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
- Singapore – Not interested, as they are focussing on 2015 Southeast Asian Games, as announced by Ng Ser Miang, vice-president of the Singapore National Olympic Council.
- Thailand – Not interested, stating that five years time is not enough to prepare adequately.
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