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SEAG training may depend on COVID-19 vaccine
Athletes and officials from the Philippines march during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games) at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan province, north of Manila on November 30, 2019.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

SEAG training may depend on COVID-19 vaccine

Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - April 14, 2021 - 4:34pm

MANILA, Philippines – If the COVID-19 situation doesn’t improve in the coming weeks, the country’s top sports officials may implement a “no vaccine, no training” policy for national athletes seeing action in the 31st Hanoi Southeast Asian Games in November.

“That’s the agenda in our meeting with Bambol tomorrow (Thursday),” Philippine SEA Games chef-de-mission Ramon Fernandez yesterday told The STAR, referring to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino.

This developed after two national team members recently tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently recovering at the quarantine facilities at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila and PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

The two national mainstays were apart from the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) recent count of 78 employees and staff that also tested positive for the global healthy malady.

But Tolentino may oppose the plan.

“That’s improbable. Paano kung late dumating vaccine? Late din training. I have to disagree,” said the Congressman from Tagaytay and PhilCycling chief.

Last week, Tolentino has appointed POC first vice president and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio as the SEA Games-bound Nationals’ “vaccine czar.”

The estimated inoculation is somewhere in July or August, which will give the national team little time to train since the biennial event is scheduled November 21 to December 2.

Already, the training of SEA Games athletes have been delayed due to the spike of COVID-19 cases and the unavailability of the PSC’s sports facilities that are currently being used as quarantine and swab testing centers by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

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