Sports

PSC gives 2019 SEA Games hosting green light

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Barring any major obstacle, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines will most likely push through as planned.

Presidential assistant Christopher Lawrence Go and Department of Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano breathed life into the country’s hosting of the biennial sportsfest in a meeting with Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez on Aug. 15.

Ramirez said he was invited to the luncheon in the presence of some cabinet members where Go, who represented President Rodrigo Duterte, and Cayetano inquired about the status of 2019 Manila Games.

“I was asked if there’s still a chance to push through and I told them that I have no problem with it (hosting),” said Ramirez.

In a board meeting on Wednesday, Ramirez said the PSC board, which is also composed of commissioners Ramon Fernandez, Charles Maxey, Arnold Agustin and Celia Kiram, gave the go-signal for the hosting.

“We were very upbeat and happy that there is a big hope of holding the 2019 SEA Games,” said the PSC chief.

“The POC welcomes the government support for the hosting and will defer to Secretary Cayetano to announce it. The POC sees the support as a unifying force for Philippine sports,” said POC president Peping Cojuangco.

Ramirez, however, added there’s a few more concerns that has to be settled as Sen. Cayetano tries to discuss the positive development with the Philippine Olympic Committee.

A reliable source said Cayetano would be named chair of the local organizing committee, replacing Senator Migz Zubiri.

The government initially declined to host the 2019 Games, citing the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City.

POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. appealed to Duterte to reconsider the decision before the deadline on Aug. 18 during the SEAG Federation Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Ramirez said he asked Fernandez to reconcile with Cojuangco in the spirit of unity and cooperation as the PSC board forms a partnership with the POC in the hosting.

Ramirez said Fernandez has thrown his full support and even offered Cebu as a venue for equestrian. - Inquirer.net

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