Philippines won't be hosting Asean Para Games due to Covid-19, costs
PSC won't host sports events this year, will also withdraw funding for APG
Third time's the charm, but not for this year's Asean Para Games (APG) after the Philippines confirmed that it will not be hosting the event.
The APG, originally scheduled for January, following the conclusion of the South-east Asia Games weeks earlier, had been postponed twice before.
Citing funding constraints and logistical considerations, the Philippines moved the 10th edition of the biennial event to March.
Then the Games were again delayed to October, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last Thursday, however, the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) announced that the country will not be hosting any sporting events for the rest of the year owing to the Covid-19 crisis and that it has also withdrawn funding for the Games.
PSC president William Ramirez told local media: "Hosting the Games is not feasible without Government support.
"Our hearts and prayers go to our local and Asean para-athletes and the entire Paralympic community, and those who have toiled and laboured for the past two years."
The PSC added that it will honour its previous commitments to the APG organising committee to cover the initial operations expenses.
"At this moment, sports must take a back seat to address a greater issue," Philippines Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo said.
The Asean Para Sports Federation (APSF), the regional governing body, is yet to ratify the PSC's decision, leaving the fate of the Games in limbo.
The next APG is scheduled for December 2021 in Vietnam.
The Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) said that it is awaiting official confirmation from APSF.
"Similar with how the International Olympic Committee has to endorse and approve the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games that was being suggested by its organisation committee, APSF has to endorse and approve the cancellation of the Asean Para Games," said an SNPC spokesman.
At the last APG in Kuala Lumpur in 2017, Singapore bagged 50 medals - nine golds, 17 silvers and 24 bronzes.