SEA GAMES: PHISGOC denies losing SEA Games hosting rights

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 22, 2019 06:24 PM
 SEA GAMES: PHISGOC denies losing SEA Games hosting rights
There is no stopping the Philippines from hosting the 30th SEA games -- PHISGOC

The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) assured that the country will continue its hosting of the 2019 SEA Games.

PHISGOC released an official statement Friday following reports that the Philippines might lose the rights for hosting the biennial meet because of ‘lack of funding and unrest among officials’.

“We at the Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) would like to assure our athletes, the sports community, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the rest of the Filipino people that all preparations for the 30th South East Asian games are in full swing,” according to the statement.

The country took over the hosting rights after Brunei backed out back in 2015. But the Philippines’ preparations encountered road blocks and challenges, including the yet to be released P5 billion fund.  

“Despite the budget cuts and various challenges confronting the Philippine hosting of the 30th SEA games, we are unfazed and determined to make this successful. We are determined to pursue our task and responsibility which was given to us by President Rodrigo Duterte last year. We know that the budget limitation is a major factor,” the statement continued. “But our strong will to mount the best SEA games in history for the sake of our athletes and the Filipino people is bigger than any other problem confronting us today.”

PHISGOC added that it has already ‘laid the groundwork for success of the SEA Games’ with the construction of the New Clark City Sports Complex, which is ‘on track for completion by September 2019’.

The 30th SEA Games will have 56 sports with 523 events.

“As we speak, we are now into the detailed planning of these sporting events, including the six (6) e-Sports made as medal events for the first time in a multi-sport competition sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee,” according to the statement.

PHISGOC added that it has been tapping private companies to sponsor the Games and augment its budget.

The organizing committee reiterated that there is no reason for the country not to continue with its obligation to host the regional sports meet.

“There is no stopping the Philippines from hosting the 30th SEA games,” according to PHISGOC, which denied reports that Indonesia and Thailand might take over the hosting rights if offered by the SEA Games Federation Council which is closely monitoring the PHI’s situation.

“It may be apparent that there are personalities who are eyeing to sabotage the preparations for the Philippines’ hosting of the SEA games. We at PHISGOC would like to reiterate our openness to listen and address their concerns on various issues. We will not tolerate fake news or misinformation that will damage the image of the country,” the statement said.

“For now, we appeal to the sports officials and stakeholders that we need to continue to prepare as one, work as one so we can win as one.”

“We can resolve all these differences through direct communication and not by disseminating misleading news, insinuations and intrigues which are damaging the reputation of our country and demoralizing our athletes including the entire workforce of the Organizing Committee.”

PHISGOC called for the athletes to continue their training and for the nation to unite as one to make the SEA Games hosting a success like what country did back in 2005 where the PHI won the overall crown.

“Let us not play into unseen forces trying to break up this unity, setting us up for failure as a country, and making us a laughing stock of the international sports community,” the statement continued. “We at PHISGOC remain committed and shall continue to work hard for the success of the 30th SEA Games for our nation and the Filipino people.”

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