Singapore to pull out as 2013 SEA Games host

Agence France-Presse

Singapore’s sports minister confirmed Tuesday the city-state wants to pull out of hosting the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games because of delays in the construction of a new sports hub.

Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports, told parliament that Singapore had informed the SEA Games Federation it “would be ideal” to host the biennial event in 2015 when the facility is ready.

“The SEA Games is a significant event in Singapore’s sporting calendar,” he said, adding that Singapore would like the Games to be the first international event held in the sports hub.

“I therefore informed the president of the SEA Games Federation that it would be ideal for Singapore to host the 2015 SEA Games instead of 2013. He informed me that there are several other countries that are keen to host the 2013 Games,” he said.

Singapore’s decision to pull out of hosting the biennial event follows repeated delays to a $1.34 billion (1.87 billion Singapore dollars) Sports Hub, originally scheduled to be completed this year.

The facility, including a 55,000-seater National Stadium with a retractable roof, would have staged major sports such as swimming, athletics and football.

Balakrishnan said the project’s delays were due to high construction costs and the global economic downturn.

Laos hosted the 2009 SEA Games in December.

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