Indonesia’s resort island of Bali has withdrawn from hosting the 2023 World Beach Games, one month before it to be organized by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Indonesia announced on Wednesday.
“With a heavy heart, we announce that the 2023 ANOC Beach World Games in Bali will not proceed as scheduled. We express our deepest apologies to ANOC and the International Federations, all the athletes, and all NOC officials who have contributed significantly since the qualification process to actualize this event. We also extend our gratitude to all those who have worked relentlessly during the preparation period,” stated Raja Sapta Oktohari, Chairman of NOC Indonesia, in an official statement.
The 2023 World Beach Games was slated to be run in Bali from August 5 to 12, showcasing a multitude of beach and water sports, including Open Water Swimming, Beach Water Polo, Beach Soccer, Beach Handball, Kite Foil, Beach Tennis, Aquathlon, Beach Volleyball 4×4, and Beach Wrestling.
Oktohari acknowledged that Indonesia’s withdrawal was instigated by a limited timeline the nation confronted in the bureaucratic administrative process. He clarified that the Indonesian government had consented to fund the event, but establishing the budgetary bureaucratic mechanism proved challenging due to the compressed timeline, prompting several sponsors to rescind their sponsorships.
“We are left with a mere 30 days, and the budgetary process has a long road ahead. We were strapped for time and deemed it exceedingly risky to plan such a world-class multi-event,” Oktohari said.
“We comprehend there will be repercussions from this cancellation. However, we continue to engage in thorough communication with ANOC and the relevant stakeholders. We are still navigating the consequences diplomatically,” he added.
ANOC officially disclosed Indonesia’s withdrawal as host on Tuesday evening and expressed its “great surprise and extreme disappointment.”
In an official statement disseminated on its social media account, ANOC conveyed that the decision arrived too late for ANOC to identify an alternative host. As a result, there is no option but to call off this year’s edition of the Games.