PASO Unworried Over Lima Late Payment

(ATR) PASO leaders weigh their options over $3 million due from Lima for the 2019 Pan Am Games. 

(ATR) A delayed payment by hosts of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games has leaders of the Pan American Sports Organization weighing their options.

PASO president Julio Maglione tells Around the Rings he is consulting with the executive committee to determine whether an extension will be granted for the payment of $3.3 million by the Peruvian Olympic Committee.

The missed payment reportedly dates back to 2014, one year after Peru was selected as the next host country of the Pan Ams.

The issue was glossed over at the PASO General Assembly held in Doha, Qatar on the heels of the ANOC General Assembly in November as PASO agreed to extend the deadline to Dec. 31 for Peru to make good on its obligation on the rights fee to host the Pan Ams.

However, the new year came and went without a payment from the COP. President Jose Quinones tells ATR "the payment will be done soon".

Maglione declined to comment on what, if any, steps might be taken about the delayed payment, but indicated no alarm on his part.

He tells ATR that PASO’s next Coordination and Technical Commission visit to Lima will take place in the last week of February.

Commission leaders Keith Joseph and Michael Fennel expressed concerns over the pace of preparations for the event following their last visit in October. Continuing to delay the payment would likely not ease concerns over the country’s readiness to stage the Pan Ams.

The impending commission visit will also be PASO’s first opportunity to meet with Peru Vice President Martin Vizcarra. Vizcarra was tapped to oversee preparations for Lima 2019 following the ousting of education minister Jaime Saavedra.

"We know that the Peruvian Education Minister Jaime Saavedra was removed and that the Vice President of Peru, Martin Vizcarra, will be the person that will carry the duties of responsibility together with the President of the Organizing Committee Carlos Neuhaus," Maglione tells ATR. "We trust they will do excellent work for the Pan American Games Lima 2019."

The 41 National Olympic Committees that comprise PASO will be briefed about Lima 2019’s progress at the organization’s next general assembly scheduled for April 26-28 in Uruguay. This assembly will also feature the election of PASO’s next president. Five candidates have announced their intention to run and have until Jan. 28 to submit their official letters of intent.

The assembly and election will be held in Punta del Este, the resort town that's a two-hour drive from the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.

Written by Kevin Nutley

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