Indonesia May Replace Vietnam As Host of the 2019 Asian Games

Indonesia could be in the running to host the 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam earlier stepped down as host.

This comes in the wake of a three-day visit by a delegation from the Olympic Council of Asia, led by vice president Wei Jizhong, to Jakarta, Bandung, West Java, and Palembang, South Sumatra, to evaluate the cities’ potential to replace Vietnam.

“Jakarta meets all the Asian Games technical requirements, from sports facilities, exhibition centers and hotels,” Wei told reporters after meeting with ministry officials on Wednesday.

“I told the [youth and sports] minister that staging the Asian Games in Jakarta would require the full use of its sports venues and exhibition centers.

“This will open new avenues for future organizers of the Asian Games. They won’t need to spend large amounts of money on the construction of new sports facilities;  they can use existing facilities. The budget [needed to stage the Games] would not be large, it would be an investment.”

“I received official support from your sports minister and will pass it on to the OCA,” Wei added.

From his assessment, Jakarta may not be the only city to host the multi-sport event as the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) has offered venues located in three cities. Unfortunately, Palembang is out of the running as it does not have sufficient sports facilities, according to Wei.

“Palembang’s sports facilities are very good, but there are simply not enough. The city could act as a support to Jakarta. They [officials from Jakarta and Palembang] can coordinate and make the final decision.”

The 2011 Southeast Asian Games were successfully staged in both cities.

Rita expressed her excitement over Wei’s statement, saying that the outcome now depends on the government and its willingness to prepare the country for hosting the 2019 Asian Games.

“The government would need to deal with the legal issues involved [in hosting the Games]. We all need to get serious about this,” Rita said, adding that Surabaya — which lost its bid to stage the 2019 Games to Vietnam — was excluded from the list of potentials as it is currently preparing for the 2021 Asian Youth Games.

Vietnam announced its decisions to step down as host following an increasingly unfavorable economic situation and a lack of experience in organizing big events.

The OCA will make its final decision in September.