Ambrus Kiss, the Deputy Mayor General of Budapest, said that the Budapest municipality was not informed about the 2022 World Aquatics Championships being organized in the Hungarian capital.
As we reported yesterday, FINA, the international aquatics federation, announced that the 2022 World Championships will take place after all, but not at the originally planned venue in Fukuoka, Japan, but in Budapest.
However, as Deputy Mayor General Ambrus Kiss told Népszava,
The government has not consulted the municipality of the capital in any way on the takeover of the hosting of the World Aquatics Championships. We, too, only learned about the undertaking from the media.”
He added that “Balázs Fürjes, State Secretary for the Development of Budapest and the Agglomeration, gave a brief update on the government’s decision on Monday after the news broke. According to his information, the city administration and the Budapest City Assembly have no formal obligations regarding the settlement request.”
Hungary could host the World Cup for roughly half the rights fee, according to the President of the Hungarian Swimming Association (MÚSZ) Sándor Wladár, who said only existing facilities would be used and the giant steeplechase would not be held. Attila Mihók, CEO of the National Sports Agency, said the event would generate 100,000 guest nights for tourism. State news agency MTI did not report any specific amounts.
It will not be the first time that the World Aquatics Championships are held in Budapest. The 2017 World Aquatics Championships were also held as a substitute event in the capital.
In 2015, the Municipal Assembly of Budapest issued a letter of guarantee for the World Aquatics Championships. István Tarlós, then mayor of the capital, took the opportunity to call the attention of the government to the fact that “There is no way around it, (…) the financing of public transport in the capital must be solved with the intervention of the state,” since “at the bottom of the budget,” 20-25 billion forints are missing from public transport in Budapest. According to Népszava, the pandemic has now left the transport coffers even shorter, but the government has not been any more generous.
Népszava reports that people arriving for the international sporting event will have to take replacement buses to the capital venue. This would require extra buses, while the government has still not agreed to allow the capital to buy or hire buses to upgrade its dilapidated fleet, which can no longer be delayed.
This year’s event will be organized in Budapest from June 18 to July 3.
Featured image: Boglárka Kapás, after finishing fourth in the women’s 200m butterfly final at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, postponed to 2021 due to the worldwide coronavirus epidemic, at the Tokyo Aquatic Center on July 29, 2021. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI