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A leading Burmese sports chief has criticised Indonesia’s handling of the Southeast Asian Games, a report said Monday, vowing his nation will do better as hosts of the competition in 2013.
The run-up to Indonesia’s Games, co-hosted by Palembang and Jakarta, was peppered with issues including delays in building venues and struggles to secure enough accommodation for athletes and officials.
Burma’s capital Naypyidaw will host the next SEA Games in 2013, 44 years after the country last held the event, and a senior sports official pledged to learn from Indonesia’s mistakes, Singapore’s Today newspaper reported.
“Myanmar [Burma] will do better, maybe better than Palembang. We will try our best,” Naw Tawng, Burma’s chef-de-mission at the Games, was quoted as saying in a rare swipe at a current Games host.
“We observed how to operate and do the opening and closing ceremonies, and secondly, for all the sports. Thirdly, [areas like] the accommodation and transportation.”
The former Myanmar Football Federation general-secretary said issues at the at the 40,000-capacity Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium during the opening ceremony pointed to wider organisational problems.
“There were no ushers. The VIP and public entrances at the main stadium in Palembang were the same. It was very confusing after the opening ceremony and not safe,” he said.
Naw Tawng also promised accommodation would not be an issue in 2013, with around 25 hotels in Naypyidaw and a further 40 in Rangoon able to handle the visitors.
Around 7,000 athletes and 2,500 supporting officials from 11 nations are expected to descend on reclusive Burma for the 2013 Games.
Indonesian Games organisers have admitted they struggled to be ready for the competition but blame a government failure to release key funds to complete building work.