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Burma’s hosting of SEA Games not yet decided

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Ministry of Sports in Naypyidaw has denied news saying Burma is the confirmed host of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for 2013.

The Soccer Myanmar and 7 Days News websites in Burma recently reported Burma had agreed to host the 2013 SEA Games, citing a high level official from the Myanmar Federation of Football (MFF).

“The news saying we had decided to host the 2013 SEA Games is not true. Our department has not yet issued any official statement. We must reply to the SEA Games organizing committee at a meeting to be held in April in Indonesia. Only at that time will we be able to confirm this news,” a senior officer from the Ministry of Sports in Naypyidaw told Mizzima.

An official from the MFF Information Department added, “This case can be confirmed only by the Sports Ministry. Since soccer is only one of the events in the Games, it is not official even if MFF confirms the news.”

An official from the Myanmar Olympic Committee told the Eleven journal that after Singapore refused to host the competition, other member countries urged Burma to step in take the lead.

In news reported on the Soccer Myanmar and 7 Day News websites, Burma was said to have confirmed hosting the Games on the 16th of this month, with Naypyidaw the venue of choice.

Domestic sports columnist Ko Ko Gyi says Burma is in position to host the event.

“Myanmar [Burma] is in position to host the SEA Games. Previously, Myanmar [Burma] twice hosted the competition. Moreover, there are three years till it commences and it will be possible to host the Games if it is determined to do so,” he said.

Rangoon hosted the Southeast Asian Peninsula Games (SEAP), the forerunner to the SEA Games, in both 1961 and 1969. In 1961, Burma won104 medals, including 35 gold, while totaling 149 medals, including 57 gold, in 1969 – standing first in each competition.

The sports columnist, however, said if Burma is to host the games it still needs to build grounds, stadiums and hostels for athletes, along with hiring qualified foreign coaches to train the athletes.

“Now it’s been 40 years from the last Games we hosted, so it will benefit the domestic tourism industry and can breed smart athletes too. The main point is the country’s pride and dignity by hosting such Games,” explained Ko Ko Gyi.

Max Myanmar Construction Company is currently building the 30,000 seat Zabu Thiri Stadium, along with another stadium of equal proportions, in the country’s new administrative capital of Naypyidaw. A foundation laying ceremony for the structures was held on the 13th of this month at the 66-acre site for Zabu Thiri Stadium.

(Edited by Ye Yint Aung)

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 April 2010 16:59 )  

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