ASEAN Para Sports Federation has decided to move the Philippines’ hosting of the 10th ASEAN Para Games during the latter part of the year.
Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo announced that the APSF Board of governors has tentatively rescheduled the Games from March 21-27 to October 3-9 with conditions that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is put under control and no longer a threat to humans.
“Majority of the (APSF) Board opted for an October 3 opening (ceremony) and October 9 closing,” said Barredo, the current chairman of the APSF board of governors.
Eight of the 10 member-countries of the APSF board, the federation’s highest decision-making body, convened in an emergency meeting early this week via video conference to deliberate on the status of the Games.
Representatives from Myanmar and Brunei were not able to join due to technical difficulties.
“Each came up with their respective opinions, most of them are affirmative. However, there were uncertainties. There were questions about COVID-19 and what are we going to do,” said Barredo, who assured the APSF board of governors on the preparedness of the Philippine ASEAN Para Games Organizing Committee to host the Games.
“After receiving those comments, I’ve decided there was no need to push through.”
The APSF board has agreed to convene again by the end of July to assess the COVID-19 situation before confirming and proceeding with the proposed new dates of the Games where 17 sports will be played in New Clark City, Subic, and Metro Manila.
Barredo said the scheduled meeting will adhere to the regulation that the host notifies APSF at least 60 days before the commencement of the Games to allow time for the APSF coordination committee to inspect the facilities and the readiness of the host country.
“The organizing committee will continue to prepare with the timeline that we will probably work on within the week or next week, then we will work backward from October 3 in terms of where we are now,” said Barredo, a former commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission.
The global pandemic has forced the postponement and cancellation of several major sporting events and tournaments around the world in the coming months.