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PHI backs out of 2019 SEA Games hosting

The Philippines made a unique hosting of the SEA Games in 2005 as multiple cities had their own share of playing host to various competitions. The Panaad Stadium in Bacolod was the site of the football competitions. PaBolFC.com (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--In a huge development, the Philippines will not anymore host the 2019 SEA Games.

In a letter addressed to POC president Peping Cojuangco, in which a copy was obtained by Dugout Philippines on Friday, PSC chairman Butch Ramirez cited the current situation in Mindanao as the basis for the organization to give up the hosting rights.

“Due to the current situation in Mindanao and the problem of terrorism and atrocities, we regret to inform you that we will no longer push through with the hosting of the biennial meet. It has been resolved that [the use of the] government resources will be focused in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Mindanao specially Marawi," the letter stated.

Davao City was pitched as the main host of the 2019 SEA Games, the 30th edition of the said sports meet, but with the damage that is inflicted during the attacks of the Maute Group in Marawi and the ensuing declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao island group, the PSC decided to let go of the hosting rights.

Brunei was initially tapped was the host of the 2019 SEA Games but decided to give the rights up owing to lack of facilities, opening an opportunity for the Philippines, which is scheduled to host the 2025 edition, to go for a hosting bid.

The Philippines last hosted the SEA Games in 2005, where the country was named the overall champion.

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