TASHKENT – Asian Games 2022, due to take place in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, have been postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said on Friday. “Following detailed discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), the OCA Executive Board (EB) decided to postpone the 19th Asian Games, which were scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from 10 to 25 September 2022,” OCA said in a statement after a meeting here in the Uzbek capital. The OCA said that the new dates of the Games will be agreed between Asian Olympic body, the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) and will be announced in the near future. The host city of Hangzhou is less than 200km away from Shanghai, which is currently fighting another major Covid-19 outbreak and has strict restrictions in place, including lockdown. “HAGOC has been very well prepared to deliver the Games on time despite global challenges. However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games,” it added. The OCA also announced that the Asian Youth Games, scheduled to be held in Shantou in December, will be cancelled. The next Youth Games will therefore be held in 2025 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.