The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on April 24 announced that it has consented to Vietnam’s decision to withdraw from hosting the 18th Asian Games (ASIAD 18) in 2019.

Earlier, OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah showed his support for the country’s decision at a meeting in Kuwait on April 23 with a Vietnamese delegation led by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh.

The OCA leader said that he sympathises with the economic difficulties facing Vietnam and its lack of experience in organising such big sports events like ASIAD.

He also affirmed that the council will not penalise the country for its withdrawal.

At the function, Vietnamese officials briefed the OCA leader of the preparations for the 2016 Asian Beach Games in the coastal central city of Nha Trang, saying that Vietnam will do its utmost to make the event a success.

OCA plans to name the new ASIAD 18 host in September.-VNA