THE chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee gave the Philippines an early high grades for its preparations for the Southeast Asian Games, and even said the country may be able to host the continental games soon.
Erick Thohir, the president of the Indonesian Olympic Committee, lauded the Philippines’ preparation including the construction of new sports facilities for the 2019 SEA Games.
“With the presentation that we saw this morning, I think the Philippines will try to organize the biggest SEA Games ever. This is something that is remarkable,” said Thohir on Thursday after the SEA Games Federation meetings at the Shangri-La The Fort
Thohir, an Indonesian businessman and sportsman who has shares in football clubs Inter Milan and DC United, and a minority share with the Philadephia 76ers, is so impressed with the country’s plans for the 2019 SEA Games that he believes the Philippines would be capable of hosting the Asian Games by 2030.
Thohir said he will also lobby for the Olympic Council of Asia to consider the Philippines as a candidate to host the Asian Games in 2030.
“Personally, as partners of the Philippines and also now that Indonesia hosting the Asian Games, I’m really sure that the next stop for the Philippines can be hosting the 2030 Asian Games,” said Thohir.
The 2019 SEA Games will be held in three areas with Clark as the main hub. A state-of-the-art stadium in the New Clark City sports complex in Capas, Tarlac is under construction which will be finished in time for the November 30 to December 10 Games.
Thohir is glad the Philippines is taking the route of building new stadiums for future use as it will be beneficial in the long run for the country.
“This is the direction of many countries. You are building many sports facilities to organize the games. To organize sports games is not just organizing sports games anymore. This is about business, national branding, creating jobs, and many others including infrastractures and so on,” said Thohir.