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Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican
Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed two more sports victims.

The Johor Malaysia Games (Sukma) and Malaysia Para Games in July have to be called off.

The two events can only be held in December at the earliest but could even be pushed to next year.

This was decided by the Malaysia Games Supreme Committee at a special meeting held via video conference yesterday.

Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican chaired the meeting. Those involved in the meeting were 14 state exco and state sports ministers (including hosts Johor and their Malaysia Games secretariat), Olympic Council of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, National Sports Council director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, Sports Ministry chief secretary Datuk Dr. Waitchalla R.R.V Suppiah and National Sports Institute chief executive officer Ahmad Faedzal Md Ramli.

The Johor Malaysia Games was initially scheduled for July 11-19 while the Malaysia Para Games was slated for Aug 16-22.

“The Malaysia Games Supreme Committee have unanimously agreed to postpone the Johor Malaysia Games to a new date which will be decided upon later," said Reezal, in a statement yesterday.

“The decision was made based on the most important aspect, which is the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials and everyone involved in the games.

“I have also asked the Sports Ministry chief secretary, as the chairperson of Malaysia Para Games Supreme Committee, to postpone the event, which had been scheduled to be held after the Malaysia Games.

“Two new dates have been proposed for the games, one is to have the games in December this year or it could be moved to next year.”

Reezal added that a number of factors will be taken into consideration in deciding the new date: the Covid-19 situation must be continuously monitored, the new games date must not clash with other important sports events or public examinations. The views and interests of the various stakeholders, especially hosts Johor, must be taken into account.

“The Supreme Committee have also agreed that a new date for the games must be decided on swiftly, the latest by early May,” added Rizal.

On a separate note, Reezal welcomed the move by IOC and the Tokyo Organising Committee to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Sports Ministry and OCM will work together to study the implications of this decision (postponement)”.


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