Rumors swirl about Asian Games postponement

Society & Culture

All eyes will be on the World University Games in Chengdu at the end of June to see how the event will handle any potential outbreaks.

The Hangzhou Asian Games, originally scheduled to begin September 10, is facing possible postponement in the face of a surge in COVID cases, according to an unnamed official within the Olympic Council of Asia, as reported by AFP.

A contact within the Chinese Olympic Committee told me that while the fate of the Games remains uncertain, they thought it would likely go ahead following the already-planned “closed-loop” system that was used at the Olympics. The organizers hope that the current wave of COVID cases, including in neighboring city Shanghai, will have died down by September, especially with Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 set to anoint his unprecedented third term as leader at the Party Conference around the same time.

In the source’s opinion, all eyes will be on the World University Games in Chengdu at the end of June to see how the event will handle any potential outbreaks.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia also said that it had been in contact with the Olympic Council of Asia, and denied a postponement was in the works.

During the past two years, China has postponed or canceled a multitude of sporting events. The 2020 Asian Beach Games have been delayed for more than two years and are set to finally occur in December, while the planned FIFA Club World Cup and every Shanghai Grand Prix have been outright canceled.

During this period, only a few international sporting events have actually been hosted in China. Most notably, the Winter Olympics.


EAFF Championship moved from China to Japan

China has relinquished its right to host the East Asian Football Championships due to the ongoing COVID outbreak, organizers announced last week.

The tournament is due to take place in July. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be hosted by Japan, with China planning to participate in both.

The tournament, which was last hosted by South Korea in 2019 (and which China has hosted twice), features China, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

The announcement comes despite global sport returning to normal while China remains stuck in its zero-Covid approach. During the past two years, China has hosted a grand total of two international soccer matches, both in Suzhou last year.

In that time, the men’s national team has mostly played “home games” in either Qatar or the UAE.

Elsewhere, Shanghai Port announced that it was withdrawing from the AFC Champions League, since Shanghai is in lockdown.


CBA finals update

Guō Àilún 郭艾伦 (right) scored 22 points with 11 assists in a Game 3 victory.

Liaoning has taken a 3-0 lead over Zhejiang Guangsha in the best-of-seven series, and will look to close things out on Tuesday. The Flying Leopards, looking for their second CBA title, have dominated, winning 98-75, 99-90, and 87-73. We’ll have more for you next week.


Other Stories:

Enbo Fight Club is shaping China’s future MMA stars (Radii)

When Xi Jinping came to power, he had three football dreams for China. Here’s why he failed (ABC)

Russian Sports Minister praises involvement of China in Handball Friendship Cup (Inside the Games)

The China Sports Column runs every week.