SINGAPORE: The 10th ASEAN Para Games in Manila will be rescheduled to March 2020, Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) president Michael Barredo said on Friday (Dec 20), local media reported.
The Games, initially slated to take place from Jan 18 to Jan 24, is a twin event of the Southeast Asian Games, which ended last week.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) advised the PPC to reschedule the Games because of "funding constraints and logistical considerations", Rappler reported.
"While we have made every effort to prepare the Games in the past one and a half years, matters well beyond our control are compelling us to reschedule the event," media reports quoted Barredo as saying.
The reset to March would allow "enough time for financial and logistical matters to be settled", he added.
At the last ASEAN Para Games in Malaysia in 2017, Singapore registered a record away medal haul of 9 gold, 17 silver and 24 bronze.
"UNFORTUNATE AND DISAPPOINTING": SNPC
“It’s unfortunate and quite disappointing that the Games is being postponed less than a month away from its initial commencement," said Mr Kevin Wong, president of the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC).
"There had been discussions and planning leading up to the Games, and the host could have highlighted any issues earlier."
He said that moving the Games to March will affect preparations for the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020, adding that some athletes may now have to go for other competitions to qualify for the Paralympics.
"The decision has been made and we will have to respect it, and plan for the Games in March." added Mr Wong.
Singapore chef de mission Mr Eric Tseng expressed hope that the issues faced by the Philippine organisers will be resolved quickly.
"We support the PSC as we understand that hosting such major events is a mountainous task," he said.
"For such critical decision to postpone the Games, there must be some crucial factors that need to be addressed first to ensure the well-being and experience of all athletes at the Games."
CNA has contacted the Singapore Disability Sports Council for comment.