The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG), originally scheduled for November 2023 in Thailand, has been postponed to February of the following year due to recent governmental changes. The decision to delay the event for three months was officially approved during the Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly held in Bangkok and announced by the OCA on Twitter. The aim of the postponement is to accommodate the new political circumstances in Thailand and ensure a smooth and successful organization of the games.
This is the second time the games have been postponed, being originally slated to take place in March 2022 before being delayed once and then postponed by more than 20 months. The recent news means that the competition has now been postponed by more than 2 years in all. Due to this edition of the AIMAG’s postponement, the 2025 edition of the tournament, which was set to be hosted in Riyadh, has also been postponed by a year and will now kick off in 2026.
Political turmoil the cause of second major postponement
Following the election in May, Thailand is yet to appoint a new Prime Minister. The results of the election ended in success for groups such as Move Forward and Pheu Thai, who achieved a major victory over parties aligned with the army-backed ruling government. The outcome of the election caused concerns among the country's conservative ruling establishment. The political landscape in Thailand remains in a state of flux as the country grapples with the implications of the election results and the direction of its future governance. This has significantly affected the country’s ability to organize and finance a major sporting event in their capital city.
"As hosts, we request the OCA to postpone the Games from November this year to February and March in 2024," Dato Seri Chaiyapak Siriwat, Vice President for the 6th AIMAG, said. "This is due to the recent general elections held in Thailand which has seen a transition of power with a new Government in place, resulting in delays in funding,” he concluded.