The 2019 Summer Universiade will not take place in Brasilia as planned according to a leading official within the city’s Federal District Government.
Hélio Doyle, the Federal District Government’s chief of staff and transition coordinator, has confirmed that newly-elected Governor Rodrigo Rollemberg plans to withdraw from hosting the event.
Rollemberg, of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), officially came into power with his 25-strong secretariat on New Year’s Day.
Doyle claimed Rollemberg had deemed it “too risky” to honour the Government’s agreement to contribute approximately €23 million (£18 million/$28 million) towards the event, which was estimated to cost €730 million (£572 million/$876 million) overall.
“[The decision was made because of] the financial situation, and it is only because of the financial situation,” he told Brazilian news agency G1.
“It would be a positive event for Brasilia [otherwise].”
Brasilia was chosen to host the event in November 2013 at a time when there had been a backlash in the country at the price of staging the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Brazilian capital received votes from all 23 members of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) after rivals Baku and Budapest dropped out of the race in the build up to final decision, which was made in Brussels.
The Games were set to be staged in Brazil for the first time since 1963, when they took place in Porto Alegre, and it was expected they would attract nearly 11,000 athletes from 150 countries, competing in 27 sports.
It was proposed that 22 competition venues would be built in the host city, along with an Athletes’ Village comprising of 2,400 apartments for foreign delegations.
The Claudio Coutinho Gymnasium and the University of Brasilia’s Olympic Centre were also both due to be redeveloped as part of the plan.
Speaking after Brasilia was awarded the Games in November 2013, Aldo Rebelo, Brazil’s Sports Minister at the time, expressed his confidence that the city would successfully deliver the event.
“Brazil has a long-standing tradition of university sport and I am convinced that Brasilia will organize an outstanding Universiade,” he said.
Rollemberg’s predecessor, Angelo Queiroz, shared Rebelo’s positivity, stating: “The Summer Universiade represents an important opportunity to promote university sport in Brazil.”
This year’s Summer Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea is due to take place from July 3 to 14, while the 2017 edition is scheduled to be held in Taipei, Taiwan from August 19 to 30.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, insidethegames.