EYEING the lucrative potential of regional multi-sports events, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is set to move the Asian Games into an odd year from 2019.
This proposal tabled at OCA's annual general meeting in Singapore over the weekend received unanimous support from delegates.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), said secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi sees the proposal as a vital change to raise the level of corporate support and marketing potential.
The main reason behind the proposal is to leave the Asian Games out of an international sporting calendar year that already includes football's World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
"This would be in a non-Olympic year and without any big international events. We cannot expect the Asian Games to compete against the World Cup, and we're losing out on the financial possibilities due to the clash with the other two events," said Kok Chi.
He was speaking after the signing of China's sports attire manufacturer 361 Degrees as the official supplier for the national contingent at next year's Asian Games in Guangzhou.
OCA is also set to streamline its multi-sports events, making for just five covering all sporting arenas.
The Asian Martial Arts Games and the Asian Indoor Games will be merged, while the Asian Beach Games will be expanded to include sports or modified events of Olympic Sports such as 3-on-3 basketball and beach water polo.
The OCA multi-sports events of the future will see the Asian Games as the flagship, with the Asian Youth Games, Asian Indoor Games, Asian Beach Games and Asian Winter Games making up the rest.
On another note, Kok Chi said the OCM will accept any penalty Singapore, as organiser of the Asian Youth Games, imposes on the country following Malaysia's withdrawal from the event. - NST