The National Games (Sukma) to be hosted by Johor this year – Sukma 2020 Johor – is another to fall victim to Covid-19 – and the biennial games scheduled to be held in July have been postponed.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican announced that the unanimous decision was taken at the Sukma Supreme Council meeting which was held in Putrajaya on Wednesday.

In a video conference by the minister with the 14 state executive members, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) represented by its president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, National Sports Council represented by its director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Sukma Supreme Council representatives.

The original dates for Sukma Johor were July 11-19 and the venues included Johor Bahru and Muar.

Reezal Merican announced at the meeting two new dates were suggested including December this year or the games are to be held in May next year.

”It was a unanimous decision to postpone the Sukma due to Covid-19 after due consideration was given to the safety and welfare of all those involved in the games…from athletes, officials, workers, volunteers.

”The Supreme Council will take into consideration several factors when the new dates are decided and much will depend on the Covid-19 situation in the country. We will also take into account the interests of the stakeholders in Sukma Johor,” said Reezal.

The Movement Control Order (MCO) which came into force on March 18 and supposed to end at the end of this month has now been further extended to April 14.

Reezal also announced that the Sukma Para Games scheduled for Aug 11-22 were also postponed.

This is the second time that Johor is playing host to Sukma after first hosting it in 1992. RIZAL ABDULLAH

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