- Language Tips
Indonesia has emerged as a potential replacement for Vietnam as the host of the 2019 Asian Games, with an Olympic Council of Asia official touring the country for infrastructure assessment.
Wei Jizhong, honorary life vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia, revealed on Sunday that he had been invited by the Indonesian Olympic Committee to visit the Southeast Asia country to examine its current facilities.
"The Indonesian Olympic Committee invited me to conduct technical assessments of the municipal facilities in Indonesia. I think Jakarta is a better choice given its main venue renovation and urban construction, which could meet the needs of Asian Games," Wei was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.
Wei's visit is a sign the OCA is seriously considering Indonesia as a replacement for Vietnam after Hanoi announced its withdrawal in April from holding the biggest continental sporting gala, citing a lack both of funds and of domestic support from media and the public.
Hanoi won the right to host in November 2012, beating out Jakarta in the final bid, and therefore Indonesia is the first candidate to take over, Wei said.
Wei said the OCA would also consider other Southeast and Central Asian nations as potential hosts.
China so far has no plan to take over the 2019 Asian Games, a top Chinese sports official said.
The Chinese Olympic Committee hasn't received any domestic bids nor been approached by the OCA about taking over the event, said Xiao Tian, deputy sports minister of China.
"It's a pity Vietnam announced its withdrawal. The Olympic Council of Asia is working on countermeasures and hasn't reached China about it. So far no Chinese cities have shown any intention to take over so we will wait and see," Xiao said.
Although the OCA hasn't finalized a solution, major Chinese cities have adequate facilities and abilities to take over if necessary, Xiao said.
Nanjing, host of the 2nd Youth Olympic Games in August, would be ready to take over the Asian Games if the OCA appoints the East China city as the new host, said Yang Weize, Party chief of the city and executive chairman of the Nanjing YOG Organizing Committee.
"If the responsibility comes to us, we will be able to host as we have well-prepared facilities and infrastructure from the Youth Olympics," Yang told a press conference on Thursday.
If the OCA reopens the bidding procedure, the COC will welcome and support any bidding proposal from Chinese cities, said Wen Wen, deputy director of the press and publicity department of the State Administration of Sport.
However, the government will fully solicit public opinion before making a decision whether or not to bid to host the Games, given experts' suggestion to invest more on mass fitness programs rather than major events, Xiao said.