Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) has said the country would be "proud" to host the 2019 Asian Games (ASIAD 18) after Vietnam announced that it would withdraw from hosting the event.

KOI official Ade Lukman said being nominated as the ASIAD 18 host country will help create stronger interest in sports by Indonesian people and improve their athletes’ performance at the event.

If Indonesia is selected as host, the event will take place in the country’s second biggest city of Surabaya on eastern Java island, he said.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has confirmed that Indonesia is now the leading candidate, but said more discussions would be needed.

Meanwhile, Malaysia also said it will consider replacing Vietnam as host of ASIAD 18 if OCA helps foot the bill.

OCA said it will announce the event’s host country at a September 20 meeting in Incheon city, the Republic of Korea – host of ASIAD 17 this year.

On April 17, Vietnam announced it is pulling out of hosting the Games due to economic difficulties.-VNA