Madagascar has replaced the Maldives as the host of the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event had been awarded to the Maldives last year, but members of the Indian Ocean Island Games Federation voted to move the Games to Madagascar.
The decision came as a result of the challenges the Maldives is facing in organising the event during the coronavirus crisis.
The Maldives had requested pushing back the 2023 Games to 2025 but the IOIGF was keen to avoid a six-year void between editions of the multi-sport event.
The country, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean, has asked to host the 2025 Indian Ocean Island Games after losing the hosting rights for 2023.
Maldives Olympic Committee Secretary-General Ahmed Marzooq said the move was a huge disappointment to sport in the nation.
“We are facing challenges due to COVID,” Marzooq said.
“But to lose this chance for whichever reason is still a great loss.”
Maldives has recorded more than 13,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 47 deaths.
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