Thirty sports are due to feature at the sixth edition of the AIMAG ©Getty Images

This year's Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Thailand have been postponed until March 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) confirmed in a statement that the event in Bangkok and Chonburi Province would not be held in its planned May 21 to 30 slot this year.

Competition has been rescheduled for March 10 to 20 in 2022.

The OCA said the global COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and health protocols around the continent had led to the postponement of the sixth edition of the Games.

Concerns over the COVID-19 virus have grown in recent weeks following the discovery of new variants in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

Turkmenistan played host to the most recent AIMAG in 2017 ©Getty Images
Turkmenistan played host to the most recent AIMAG in 2017 ©Getty Images

"The decision aims at serving the common interests of all related National Olympic Committees and ensuring the safety and health of the athletes and all relevant participants," the OCA said.

A total of 30 sports - 28 medal sports and two demonstration events - are set to feature on the programme for the AIMAG, confirmed by the OCA last year.

The medal sports are: indoor athletics, cue sports, bowling, dance sport, chess, futsal, roller sports, sport climbing, short course swimming, muay thai, jujitsu, BMX cycling, hoop takraw/speak takraw, kurash, floorball, netball, taekwondo, indoor hockey, karate, esports, badminton, pencak silat, cheerleading, sambo, indoor rowing, volleyball, basketball 3x3, traditional wrestling and kickboxing. 

Teqball and air sports have been included as demonstration events.

The AIMAG is the latest major OCA event to be moved as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The 2021 Asian Beach Games were postponed for a second time in December, with new dates yet to be confirmed by the OCA.

Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat staged the last AIMAG in 2017.