10th ASEAN Para Games officially cancelled; APSF focuses on 2021 Games in Vietnam
The 10th ASEAN Para Games Philippines 2020 has been cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, this was announced by NPC Philippines recently following a decision by the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) to withdraw financial support for the Games to combat the pandemic in the country.
In a statement on May 13, 2020, the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) said it has received an official notification from the Philippines Paralympic Committee (NPC Philippines) on May 6, 2020 on the status of the biennial Games in Manila.
Whilst regretting the decision, the APSF expressed its gratitude to NPC Philippines and thanked the Philippines for all efforts taken prior to the cancellation of the Games. “We fully understand that the decision was unavoidable due to the COVID19 pandemic and the uncertainties it present,” Major General Osoth Bhavilai, APSF President said in the statement.
APSF will now hold a Board of Governors emergency meeting to deliberate, ratify and endorse the cancellation of the 10th ASEAN Para Games and move on towards the organisation of the 11th ASEAN Para Games 2021 scheduled in Vietnam.
NPC Philippines president Michael Barredo, in an official notification to APSF President Major General Osoth Bhavilai in Bangkok, stated that the cancellation was unavoidable due to the “uncontrollable circumstances caused by the COVID19 pandemic.”
APC President Majid Rashed commented: “This is a challenging and difficult situation for all of us. The cancellation of the ASEAN Para Games might be disappointing for everyone especially the athletes, but the health and well-being of human kind is number one top priority. I am very much hopeful that when the Games are held in 2021, it will be one of the successful events in the Asian region. I wish good luck to the organisers, the APSF and the athletes and, strength to everyone to overcome this period of time.”
The NPC Philippines arrived at the decision following the Philippines Sports Commission’s (PSC) announcement to withdraw financial support to the hosting of the Games due to “the present health crisis and directives from the national Government”. All respective NPCs have been informed on the cancellation along with a copy of an official letter from Mr. Barredo, Chairman of Philippines ASEAN Para Games Organizing Committee, an official letter from PSC and a copy of the National Budget Circular.
The biennial Games, traditionally held after the SEA Games, has been held since its inaugural Games in 2001 in Kuala Lumpur. Manila was supposed to host the 10th edition for the second time after first hosting it in 2005.
The APSF is the sub-regional body for the South East Asian region. Michael Barredo represents the region on the Asian Paralympic Committee’s Board.