Malaysia ready to host Asiad, say committee


BY LIM TEIK HUAT

THUMBS-UP: Celso Dayrit (right), the vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia, checking out the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex on Tuesday. After the inspection, Dayrit said Malaysia had everything in order to host the 2010 Asian Games. - STARpic by Uu Ban Leong

KUALA LUMPUR: The five-men bidding evaluation committee from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) believe Malaysia has everything in place to host the 2010 Asian Games. 

But whether that will materialise will depend on the all-important backing from the government. 

The government's support is crucial and the evaluation committee drummed home the point yesterday after completing their visit of the various sports venues around Klang Valley. 

The Cabinet will discuss today whether to support Kuala Lumpur's bid to host the 2010 Asian Games. 

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) submitted the bid documents for the host job last month. Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou are the only cities left after Amman and South Korea pulled out from the bidding earlier. 

Chairman of the OCA evaluation committee Celso Dayrit said: “Based on our observation after visiting the various facilities, we are generally convinced Malaysia is ready to host the Asian Games. 

“Some of the facilities are newly constructed and of international standard. 

“While it depends on whether Malaysia will build additional venues if it becomes the host city, the existing ones should be still good to host events for the next six years,” said Celso, who is also the OCA vice president. 

“The next course of action would be to get the endorsement from the government.” 

Once the pledge letter from the government is received, Celso said the observations of the five-men committee would be mentioned in the report to be presented during the OCA general assembly in Doha on July 1. 

The bidding cities will also make their presentation during the OCA general assembly. The 45 representatives of the National Olympic Councils under the OCA umbrella will then cast their votes to decide on the host for the 2010 Asian Games. 

OCM president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar also expressed gratitude to OCA for their flexibility in accepting the bid documents without the government pledge. 

“Because of the change of government, we have not been able to get an answer before the deadline. 

“OCA are flexible in this matter and we appreciate that they understand the situation we are in.” 

The evaluation committee will leave for Guangzhou today. 

If the government decides to back Kuala Lumpur's bid today, it will be the second time the city will be bidding to host the Asian Games. 

Kuala Lumpur lost to Doha, Qatar in the final bidding process for the 2006 Asian Games. 

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