The event was scheduled to take place in Vietnam from November 21 to December 2.

The 31st edition of the Southeast Asian Games 2021 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEA Games Federation announced on Thursday. In a statement released through the Olympic Council of Malaysia, the federation also revealed that all members were in agreement that the pandemic situation in the region is yet to improve enough to organize the event.

The competition was earlier scheduled to take place in Vietnam, from November 21 to December 2, 2021.

“The Southeast Asian Games Federation which met today agreed to postpone the organisation of the 31st SEA Games 2021 to the year 2022. The SEA Games Federation members praised the work done thus far by the Vietnam Organising Committee but took note of the current conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic in the South-East Asian region,” the official statement read.

The federation also stated that a new date is yet to be finalized by them for the event next year, when 11 nations will take part in the competition in Hanoi.

Tokyo Olympics to have no local fans?

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga imposed a state of emergency on Tokyo. The decision comes after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. This will be the capital city’s fourth emergency since the pandemic began early last year.

“We are hoping to keep people from moving around during the summer break and the Bon holidays until vaccinations move further along”, Kyodo News quoted Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the nation’s COVID-19 response saying.

Tokyo reported 920 new cases on Wednesday, marking the highest daily figure since mid-May. A new state of emergency could lead to a ban even on local fans. Foreign fans will also be not attending the showpiece event. The soaring cases are likely to mean that venues will be without any fans at all, although sponsors may have access.

The closed door atmosphere could include the opening ceremony at the $1.4 billion Japan National Stadium. The Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 and will continue till August 8.

For more football updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and join our community on Telegram.