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MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 24/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Olympic Council of Asia is committed to cooperating with and providing all forms of support to its member nations during difficult circumstances they are going through, said its chief Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah on Wednesday.

He told a joint press conference with the Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tuan Anh Hoang at the OCA headquarters in Kuwait that the regional Olympic body understands the obstacles that stand in the path of developing the sports movement in the continent's nations, and works to communicate with them in order to solve these obstacles to the best of its capabilities.

The Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, had won the bidding rights to host the 18th Asian Games in 2019, but requested the withdrawal of the decision after taking huge strides in preparation, but, however, being set back by the huge financial requirements of hosting such a huge tournament, he said.

The OCA was understanding in the reasons presented in an official apology by Vietnam, and its commitment to filing the request for a pardon under the required timeframe - thus enabling the OCA ample time to decide an alternative venue, he said.

These reasons were mainly due to the economic conditions of the Southeast Asian nation as a result of the global financial downturn, and the absence of expertise in the organization of events.

However, OCA chief Sheikh Ahmad did express his confidence in Vietnam's ability to host the Fifth Asian Beach Games in 2016, through what the OCA has witnessed of continuing preparation efforts for the events, and their successful hosting of former events.

In the meantime, he said that the doors were open for bids to host the 2019 Asian Games, adding that the process will run according to the usual procedures.

For his part, the Vietnamese official expressed gratitude for the approval of the request for pardon by the OCA, headed by Sheikh Ahmad, affirming the strength of ties between his nation and the Olympic body.

He also hailed the efforts assumed by the current OCA president's late father and predecessor, Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who the minister said did much to support the sports movement in his country and bring it up to the standards it is experiencing today.


Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

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