The Straits Times
Published on Nov 29, 2012

Hosts Vietnam fear ill-preparedness for 2019 Asian Games


HANOI (AFP) - With its economy in crisis, a decaying sports infrastructure and an uninspiring athletics record, it is little wonder many Vietnamese fear Hanoi is ill-prepared to host the 2019 Asian Games.

There was scant public jubilation when the communist country's capital was chosen to host the region's largest sporting event, making it the first Southeast Asian nation for 20 years to hold the showpiece competition.

Instead fears over whether Vietnam can pull off the event bounce around the city's coffee shops and beer gardens.

"A hope is born but concerns spread through society. You cannot imagine (a host) facing more difficulties," said Do Minh Tuan, a 52-year-old Hanoi-based academic.