Brunei withdraws as 2019 host, blames lack of time

Athletes from Brunei marching into the National Stadium during the SEA Games opening ceremony on June 5, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Athletes from Brunei marching into the National Stadium during the SEA Games opening ceremony on June 5, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Brunei has pulled out of hosting the 2019 SEA Games, blaming a lack of venues and preparation time, the Olympic Council of Asia said.

The tiny, resource-rich state apologised to the SEA Games Federation council after announcing its decision at a meeting in Singapore, according to the OCA website.

The Philippines has expressed interest in taking over the 2019 edition of the biennial, 11-nation event, whose latest incarnation formally opens in Singapore on Friday.

Malaysia will host the next games in 2017, Vietnam will hold it them 2021 and Cambodia were confirmed as 2023 organisers at the meeting, the OCA said.

The Federation also accepted ice hockey, ice skating, cricket, bridge and Indonesian martial art tarung derajat as new sports, meaning they are eligible for future SEA Games.

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