The ASEAN Para Games have been cancelled for the second year running ©ASEAN Para Sports Federation

This year's Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Para Games - set to be held in Hanoi in December - have been cancelled for the second time due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

In an official letter sent to ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) President Osoth Bhavilai, Vietnam Paralympic Association leader Huynh Vinh Ai stated that the capital is unable to proceed with the staging of the Games due to a "complicated situation following the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country".

The decision was made as organisers felt the event would pose a risk to the health of the athletes due to their increased vulnerability as members of the disabled community.

Huynh also cited that the difficulties in bringing in technical and specialised equipment for Para athletes as another factor in the cancellation.

The corresponding Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi have not been cancelled, and were instead moved to the second quarter of 2022. 

The ASEAN Para Games were last held in 2017 in Malaysia ©Getty Images
The ASEAN Para Games were last held in 2017 in Malaysia ©Getty Images

The APSF is set to convene an Emergency Board of Governors meeting.

"The meeting will not only discuss matters pertaining to the cancellation of Hanoi Games, but also will deliberate on the future direction of the Games following the cancellation of two Games (Manila 2020 and Hanoi 2021) due to the pandemic," said APSF secretary general Wandee Tosuwan.

Vietnam was scheduled to host the ASEAN Para Games for only the second time after 18 years.

The country has hosted Games once before, in 2003, which was the second edition of the event, with the first taking place in Malaysia in 2001.