Palembang has a recurrent problem with smoky haze due to forest fires. (Antara Photo/Nova Wahyudi)

Minister: 2018 Asian Games Closing Ceremony in Palembang


SEPTEMBER 05, 2015

Jakarta. The 2018 Asian Games closing ceremony will not be held in Jakarta, but in Palembang, Indonesia's sports minister said on Friday.

Minister Imam Nahrawi stressed that he's the one making that decision and not Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) chairwoman Rita Subowo.

Rita had previously said the closing ceremony would be held in the capital.

"I've decided that the closing ceremony of the Asian Games will be in Palembang and the opening in Jakarta, I'm the one who has to sign off on that, right?" Imam said in Jakarta.

The minister said that Palembang was ready to host Asia's biggest sports event, but the Olympic Council of Asia wants the Asian Games to be held in a national capital.

The 2018 Asian Games will be held from Aug. 18 till Sept. 2., traditionally the peak of Indonesia's dry season.

Like every year in recent memory, Palembang is currently blanketed in a layer of thick smoky haze caused by rampant forest fires on Sumatra, creating transportation and health problems for millions.