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  • Poznan Drops Out of 2018 Youth Olympics Race


    Poznan is out of the YOG 2018 contest (Getty)
    (ATR) Poznan mayor’s office tells Around the Rings that the Polish city is withdrawing its bid for the 2018 summer YOG due to lack of financial guarantees.

    “Our city council said that we don’t have enough money to do this project and they rejected the statement of the mayor who wanted to go ahead with the bid,” a spokesman for mayor Ryszard Grobelny told ATR.

    He confirmed that the city council had failed to provide financial guarantees of $24 million to organize the YOG, as reported in Polish media. According to the Polish Press Agency, 27 councillors voted against allocating the budget with only four in favor.

    A number of government ministries were reportedly supportive of the YOG bid with the Polish government said to have offered a grant of more than $30 million to organize the Games. But councillors claimed Poznan could not afford to commit finances to the 2018 YOG because of the city’s debt problems.

    "It is a pity that the council did not agree to make that effort. I'm Convinced that the Poznan youth organization can afford the games. In 2018 year, we regret that this event will not take place in our city,” Grobelny was quoted as saying by the news agency after the vote.

    A spokeswoman for the Polish Olympic Committee told ATR that it had not yet received any documents confirming Poznan’s exit from the bidding contest.

    The IOC was unavailable for comment on the YOG 2018 development.

    Poznan’s shock withdrawal follows two failed bids to stage the Youth Olympics – in 2010 it failed to become a candidate city and it lost out to Nanjing for the 2014 edition by just five votes.

    With the experience of being one of four Polish host cities for UEFA’s Euro 2012 championships, Poznan was expected make a stronger pitch to the IOC for the 2018 YOG.

    Its departure from the bid race leaves Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Guadalajara, Medellin and Rotterdam to battle it out for hosting rights.

    Bid books are due with the IOC on Monday.

    Of the remaining bids, Guadalajara may yet drop out of the contest.  Last month, the new governor of the state of Jalisco reportedly said he would not back government guarantees for a 2018 YOG bid as long as $30 million in unpaid bills remain from the 2011 Pan American Games.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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