Colombia does not throw in the towel: high-level officials meet to try to recover the Pan American Games

Colombia does not throw in the towel: high-level officials meet to try to recover the Pan American Games

BOGOTA- With a high-level meeting, Colombia On Tuesday he was looking for options to try to recover the headquarters of the Panamerican Games 2027 that he lost last week for failing to comply with the payments agreed with Panam Sports.

The extraordinary meeting was scheduled at the presidential palace in Bogota, with the mayor of Barranquilla, the city that had been selected as the venue for the continental competitions. The governor of Atlantico, the department where the Caribbean city is located, will also attend; the Minister of Sports, for being the portfolio in charge of the millionaire payments; and the president of the Colombian Olympic Committee.

The Presidency has not confirmed whether the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, will attend the meeting.

The Executive Committee of Panam Sports decided last Wednesday to withdraw the headquarters of the next Pan American Games to Barranquilla due to “countless breaches” in the contract, despite having accepted last year an extension in the payment terms proposed by the Colombian government.

Colombia hosted the Pan American Games in 1971, with Cali as its venue, and in 2027 hoped to once again host the largest multidisciplinary sporting event on the continent.

The president of Colombia sent a letter to the management of Panam Sports on Friday in an attempt to reverse the decision, expressing his “will and commitment” to overcome “any obstacle,” without specifying how he could remedy the missed payments.

Colombia’s attempts to reverse the decision have not borne fruit and Panam Sports sent a letter that same day to all the countries that make up the organization indicating that a new process has been opened and they are invited to participate again to apply to host the the fair ones

The Minister of Sports of Colombia, Astrid Rodriguez, has explained that the country did not make the agreed payment on time in 2022, so she asked Panam Sports for an extension in the deadlines that was accepted: they would pay four million dollars on December 30 in 2023 and another four million on January 30, 2024.

However, in December they did not make the payment due to lack of “cash flow” and they informed Panam Sports that they would transfer the eight million dollars in January.

The loss of the Pan American Games for Barranquilla has generated questions about the government among its opponents and supporters, as well as a request from the Attorney General’s Office to the Minister of Sports to provide explanations for what happened.

Colombian Luis Alberto Moreno, member of the International Olympic Committee, agreed to serve as an intermediary to advocate for the recovery of the Pan American Games for Barranquilla at the call of the city’s mayor, Alejandro Char.

For Moreno, it is “essential” that the government present Panam Sports with an action plan with key investment milestones to show its commitment and “recover the credibility and trust that the country has lost”as he noted on Monday from his X account, formerly Twitter.

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