En este momento estás viendo Colombia reacts to loss of Pan American venue
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Colombia reacts to loss of Pan American venue

The Minister of Sport issued a statement and answered questions from the press.

Colombia lost the hosting of the 2027 Pan American Games, which were assigned to Barranquilla, due to the default of the first payment on December 31, 2023.

In view of this, Sports Minister Astrid Rodríguez issued a statement announcing the government’s surprise at Panam Sports’ decision.

She explained that this was not what was agreed with Panam Sports when Colombia was chosen to host the Games.

We account for the resources we have disbursed to Panam Sports. The Government of Colombia has reaffirmed on multiple occasions its genuine commitment to the realization of the 2027 Pan American and Parapan American Games, she said.

In conversation with Neven Llic, president of Panam Sports, Astrid reached an agreement to make the total payment of about 8 million during January 2024, while there was a difficulty to do so during the 2023 period, he said.

Surprisingly, Panam Sports sent a letter to the president of the Colombian Olympic Committee stating the unilateral decision, and contrary to what had been agreed with this ministry, to terminate the contract and cancel the organization of the Pan American Games in Barranquilla, he said.

It should be noted that this administration, within the framework of the contract whose purpose is to designate Barranquilla as the host city for the organization of the 2027 Pan American and Parapan American Games, continued the procedures to appropriate the resources for the concession fees for media rights, sale of official products, and sponsorships, as required, he explained.

The national government’s commitment to comply with the agreement and ensure the holding of the Games is reflected in Law 2342 of December 15, 2023.

This law decrees the budget of income and capital resources and appropriations law for the fiscal period from January 19 to December 31, 2024, in which specific resources were allocated for the Caribbean region, including those for this sporting commitment, the minister added.

After reading the communiqué, Astrid responded to questions: «We had two payments to make, one in December 2023 and the other in January 2024. The one in December, as I told the president of Panam and the president of the Colombian Olympic Committee, we had a difficulty in the money they give us for the allocation of all the payments we had to make.

That was not enough and we had two options: to leave the payment we had in December, which we had the money, in accounts payable, but the state said that they would possibly pay them in March. The other option was to leave it with the January 2024 budget and make it in January 2024, he said.

I told President Neven Ilic that I have the money in January to do it faster and be able to comply. I told him that I could corroborate. But the executive committee (of Panam Sports) informed that we would lose the venue in Barranquilla 2027. On several occasions we have met with Panam Sports to show our solidity, he said.

This contract comes from 2021, a payment is made that year. In 2022 there is no payment. In 2023 we resumed the conversations to show our desire to see how to continue with the venue and we were committed to pay in December the payment of 2022, but due to cash flow we could not do it, so we decided to do it in January (the 8 million dollars), he explained.

We were able to make the payment, but the disbursement would not arrive as quickly as we wanted, that is why we decided to pay all the money in January, as I told him (Neven Ilic), he said.

We have the desire and the will to continue for Barranquilla to host the Pan American Games, concluded Astrid.

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