POC President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino
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Philippine Olympic body backs suspension of games due to virus scare
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - February 14, 2020 - 3:01pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Olympic Committee is one with the government’s decision to postpone all its scheduled events that gather crowds amid the novel coronavirus menace.

“The POC stands behind government in its precautionary measure of advising everyone to desist from organizing, participating or attending events where big crowds are expected,” said POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in a statement Friday.

As advised by no less than President Duterte himself, the Philippine Sports Commission had already called off the Philippine National Games, the national sports summit and all its children’s games while giving the recommendation that led to the 10th ASEAN Para Games being reset to a still unspecified date.

Already, the Asia Oceania Olympic boxing qualifier was rescheduled from last week in Wuhan, China to next month in Amman, Jordan.

“The PSC’s parallel declaration cancelling or suspending sports activities in order to mitigate the possible spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, is also shared by the POC,” said Tolentino.

“We must always put the safety of athletes, coaches, officials and spectators at the very top of our priorities,” he added.

Apart from the government’s recent initiative, organizers from the private sectors and collegiate leagues like the UAAP and NCAA have also halted their respective events.

That is the reason Tolentino advised all National Sports Associations to shelve their upcoming events for now.

“We therefore urge all National Sports Associations and other groups associated with the POC, to heed the call for prudence and await official announcements from appropriate agencies with regards to this issue,” said Tolentino. “We also enjoin everyone to take the necessary precautions amidst this growing health concern.”

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