The Greater Kaohsiung Government yesterday said it would spend one month evaluating the possibility of hosting the 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam withdrew from hosting the sports event last week.
Democratic Progressive Party Greater Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Sin-yu (陳信瑜) suggested that the city seek cooperative efforts from Greater Tainan and Pingtung County to show that southern Taiwan is capable of hosting such an international sports competition.
Chen said Kaohsiung indicated in 2010 that it was interested in hosting the Asian Games in 2019, but it lost the bid to Taipei.
However, Taipei gave up its quest to host the Asian Games in 2019 and decided to bid for the 2017 Summer Universiade instead.
“Kaohsiung missed the chance to bid for the Asian Games twice before,” she said.
“The city should do everything it can this time to host the Games, which will demonstrate to the world that the city is able to raise its publicity around the world and host an international sports event,” Chen added.
Chen said the city had hosted the 2009 World Games, for which it built a state-of-the-art stadium and recruited thousands of passionate volunteers.
These are advantages that the city has over other potential hosts, she said.
Greater Kaohsiung Department of Sports Director Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) said the department would start evaluating the possibility of hosting the Games after briefing Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊).
Vietnam backed out as the host of the Asian Games on Friday last week, saying that the poor preparation could damage the country’s reputation and the cost of hosting the sports event could far exceed its proposed budget.
Aside from Greater Kaohsiung, both Malaysia and Indonesia have indicated their intentions to replace Vietnam as the host country for the Games.
Malaysia said it would consider hosting the Games if the Olympic Council of Asia helps pay for the cost.
Indonesia was seen as a strong candidate to replace Vietnam, as the two were competing in the bid in 2012 to host the Asian Games. Vietnam’s Hanoi City trumped Surabaya in Indonesia and secured the right to host the Games.
However, Indonesia Olympic Committee chairwoman Rita Subowo said Surabaya would only be ready to host the Asian Youth Games in 2021, not the Asian Games in 2019.