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OCA President: Asian solidarity and unity are more important than penalty

23 Apr 2014
Kuwait: OCA President HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah met with a high-level delegation from Vietnam - headed by HE Hoang Tuan Anh, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and NOC President - at OCA headquarters in Kuwait on Wednesday. Following Hanoi's withdrawal last week from hosting the 18th Asian Games in 2019, the OCA President insisted that the "unique strength" of the Asian sports family - its unity and solidarity - was more important than any kind of penalty.

"We fully understand the situation of Vietnam," said Sheikh Ahmad.

"It is a joint decision by the OCA and Vietnam. OCA isn’t upset about this decision; we welcome the fact that Vietnam could make this decision and give us more time to find a replacement host city. I’m very happy to see that Vietnam is honest to themselves and to us. This is the way of the Vietnamese.

“In the Asian sports family, our unity and solidarity is unique. There isn’t any kind of penalty, only support and understanding. OCA still has many happy memories from our Asian Indoor Games in Hanoi in 2009 and we’d like to offer more support to Vietnam for a successful Asian Beach Games in Nha Trang in 2016.”

Minister Hoang expressed his regret that Vietnam must withdraw from hosting the 2019 Asian Games due to many constraints facing the country and host city Hanoi. "The economic recession and strain on the budget put us in a very difficult position to host the Games," he said.

“Vietnam isn’t experienced in hosting such a large-scale sports event. After understanding all the obstacles in front of us and giving careful consideration, we are looking for OCA’s sympathy and understanding for our withdrawal.

“However, I’m able to guarantee that we will host a great Asian Beach Games at Nha Trang in 2016 and we look forward to the continued support of the OCA and Asian sports family. We will give our upmost effort to make sure the Olympic Movement in our region will enjoy great success in the future.”

The delegation also included Madam Nguyen Phuong Nga, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Madam Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, Deputy Mayor of Hanoi; HE Bui Quoc Trung, Ambassador of Vietnam in Kuwait, and other officials from Vietnam NOC.
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