BEIJING -- The Olympic Council of Asia Thursday selected Bangkok to host the 1998 Asian Games, but decided to postpone for six months the appointment of a new president to replace the Kuwaiti sheik slain in the Iraqi invasion in August.
Bangkok was chosen ahead of Djakarta and Taipei. The 1994 Games had already been awarded to Hiroshima, Japan.
The AOC delayed taking any action over the presidential vacancy because of a split in tnn ranks.
Former president Sheikh Fahad Al Ahmad Al-Sabah, half-brother of the now exiled-emir, was killed Aug. 2 defending the Royal Palace against the invading Iraqis.
His son, Sheik Ahmed Fahad Al-Sabah, was among the candidates for the presidency, along with Chinese International Olympic Committee Vice President He Zhenliang, Indonesian tycoon Bob Hassam and Sri Lanka's Roy de Silva.
'I didn't want to have the election now because I wanted to preserve the solidarity of Asia,' announced the 30-year-old sheik, saying he had a majority of 24 votes.
Some delegates believed Sheikh Ahmed was too inexperienced for the position, but others felt it necessary to preserve annexed Kuwaiti's high profile in Asian sports.
Hong Kong delegate A. De O. Sales, who chaired the meeting, said the decision was deferred 'to let the dust settle and to give people proper perspective.'
He said under the OCA constitution there was an age minimum for president of 35 years old, but 'the general assembly is empowered to suspend or waive those qualifications and if the rules were suspended, Fahad could be the president.
'The atmosphere was a happy one but not docile,' he said.
The decision to postpone was 'an overwhelming majority,' Sales said.
The meeting will be held in Saudi Arabia which was chosen ahead of Japan. The Kuwait national olympic committee has been based in Riyadh since the Iraqi invasion.