Sports Bureau (ID) President Pun Weng Kun told reporters on Tuesday that all sports events usually held during the Chinese New Year (CNY) will be cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Pun made the remarks on the sidelines of the 2020-2024 Sports and Olympic Committee of Macao members’ inauguration ceremony at Macau Tower.
Pun said that the Covid-19 pandemic created a lot of unpredictability, adding that the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) scheduled for March in Thailand was postponed sine die. There are a lot of other sports events taking place in Asia or elsewhere this year, Pun said, pointing out that therefore local athletes are preparing for the events despite the uncertainties, adding some of them are training in the mainland.
Pun said that he hoped the athletes could be vaccinated before attending major sporting activities such as the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.
68th Grand Prix uncertain
Pun noted that the cost of last year’s Grand Prix was MOP 170 million, which was less than the MOP 230 million that the government had originally expected. He said that the decrease was because fewer races were held and fewer foreign racers attended the competition. He also said that the government only spent money on what was needed and worked hard to control the expenses.
When asked whether the 68th Grand Prix would go ahead, Pun said his bureau was preparing for the event but at the moment he was unable to say whether the Grand Prix would go ahead. However, he stressed that preparations will continue.
Chui to chair Sports & Olympic Committee
According to a statement handed out during Tuesday’s ceremony, Macao’s previous chief executive Fernando Chui Sai On was inaugurated as the honourable chairman of the 2020-2024 Sports and Olympic Committee of Macao.
The statement pointed out that Macao’s first chief executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U also attended the ceremony.