FIFA World Cup 2014 just concluded, then the Commonwealth Games is already around the corner. And wait…nobody hosting Asiad 2019?
Football fever is no longer infecting us anymore since the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup had just concluded with a superb final between Germany and Argentina of which the former won, and it is Germany’s fourth World Cup title. This put Germany as the second country with the most win in the World Cup history, just behind Brazil which had won five times before. We’ll have to wait another four years for the next edition of the World Cup; Russia 2018 to catch up with fantastic football games from top 32 nations around the world.
This year appears to be a year full of many global sporting events. We had the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games early this year. Then, we have the just concluded Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup from June to July, the most watched sporting event in the world. And in about a week later from now, we will observe the opening of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Commonwealth Games is another major international sporting event with participation of over 70 Commonwealth nations including my country, Malaysia. Our city, Kuala Lumpur had also hosted this games before back in 1998, as the first Asian city to do so. That was our proud old days when I was still a kid.
I wonder why this edition of the Commonwealth Games is becoming quite unpopular. Not many knew that this games is just around the corner. Glasgow 2014 organizing team seems to have not taken much effort yet to further publicize this games, which is considered one of the biggest multi-sport events in the world, just behind Summer Olympic Games and Asian Games. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to watch its opening and closing ceremonies and also to catch up on how successful our Malaysian team can perform in this games.
Well, the much popular and highly debated issue raised recently is about Asian Games instead. Not the coming one which is going to be held from September to October this year at Incheon, South Korea. It’s on the matter of the host city for the 2019 Asian Games. Two years ago, Hanoi, Vietnam had won its bid to host the games. However, on early this year, the Vietnamese government decided to drop this hosting job due to economic and financial pressure. So, now, there are only five years till 2019, and that is a shorter time frame for the 2019 games host to prepare. Other potential or formerly interested candidates (Dubai, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Taipei, and also my city, Kuala Lumpur) highlighted the shorter time frame concern and also the escalating cost of organizing this games. Hence, all these cities expressed no further interest to bid for this games again.
So, which city is left? Hanoi previously won the bid after defeating Surabaya of Indonesia. So, there is a high probability that the games will be awarded to the Indonesian city since it is now still expressing interest to host it. Another possible candidate is New Delhi since many backed the city to bid for it after their recent success on hosting 2010 Commonwealth Games. The result will be announced on September this year. Wait? Why not give a chance to KL? Well, our ‘smart’ government said that they preferred to focus on the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. What?! We have hosted that biennial event so many times and it offers nothing much of benefit for the country and won’t boost anything like image or tourism. Hosting the Asian Games will expose and further introduce us to not only our Asian neighbours but also to the world due to the increasing popularity this games is getting (while Commonwealth is getting lesser fame nowadays). But our government decided not to bid for it. Another bad decision. We are more than capable to host it, and we have never did that before. Even Bangkok, Thailand hosted Asian Games for five times. One word for Malaysia; embarassing! We have to dream far…actually not that far too..it’s way reachable. We are not even going to bid for Olympics yet knowing well we are not ready. But Asian Games, we certainly are!
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)