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World Beach Games nixed after host Bali pulls out

Agence France-Presse - July 5, 2023

Jakarta – The 2023 Association of National Olympic Committees World Beach Games have been cancelled after Bali pulled out as host a month before the event's scheduled start, organisers said Tuesday.

The withdrawal at such short notice left no time to find a suitable host replacement, ANOC said in a statement posted on the event's official Instagram account.

"There is no option but to cancel this year's edition of the Games in Bali in August as well as the ANOC General Assembly," it said.

"A decision will be taken in the coming weeks regarding a new location and dates" for the general assembly, ANOC added.

Bali's local organising committee (LOC) said it decided to withdraw as host after its budget for the games "was not released" by the government, according to ANOC.

More than 100 Olympic member countries were due to take part in the second edition of the games, which includes beach and watersports like volleyball, surfing and aquathlon.

"ANOC is very disappointed by the LOC's actions which will deny athletes from 100 qualified NOCs (national Olympic committees) from fulfilling their ambitions of competing at the Games," ANOC said.

The games' status was already cast in doubt after local media reports said Bali Governor Wayan Koster would refuse to support Israel's presence if it was confirmed to take part.

The ANOC cancellation statement made no mention of Bali's stance on Israeli participation.

Indonesia and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations and support for the Palestinian cause in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation runs high.

In March, Indonesia lost the hosting rights to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after Koster expressed opposition to Israel's participation, with their games set to be played on the resort island.

The tournament was instead hosted by Argentina in May and June.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/sports/2023/07/05/world-beach-games-nixed-after-host-bali-pulls-out.htm