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Dubai 2013 World L/C Champs Called Off

May 16, 2010  - Craig Lord

Dubai will no longer host the 2013 World Long-Course Championships. It was not that long ago that FINA had to issue the Gulf State with a deadline on its financial commitment to the 2010 event. That deadline has been met and strong commitments given.

The latest news came in a FINA press release telling the swimming world that the Gulf State will host the 2010 world s/c championships this December and that all plans are going well. 

That release also stated: "The project for the 15th FINA World Championships 2013 was also reviewed and in a mutual agreement, FINA and the Dubai authorities decided that Dubai would not go forward with the organisation of these championships."

Agency reports cite the world financial crisis as the reason for Dubai having been forced to 'withdraw'. DPA in Germany reports the move in terms of the bidders that came up against Dubai for the 2013 event. Those bidders included Hamburg and Moscow, both now, perhaps, feeling non-too-keen to pay for another round of bidding costs with no guarantees.

A new bidding process will now begin, says DPA. What no-one has yet noted is the thing that is most obvious: the next bidding rounds for FINA events may be some of the most difficult in the sport's recent history given the budget cutbacks that many nations, and economic zones such as the EU, around the world are now having to agree to. Tighter times ahead - and not only in the race pool.

While a great deal of FINA funding comes from broadcast rights, the vast costs that bidders must cover is likely to be an issue. For the past few events, those costs have soared to well over $50 million. As things stand, FINA offers prize money and also pays a large sum towards the travel and accommodation fees of nations. Most of its 202 member nations attend the championships. 

There are also costs such as limousines to collect FINA officers at airports, first-class travel for some and five-star hotel accommodation in the mix. Those costs are part of the bidding process. Such things are more likely to be up for negotiation in future rounds as financial constraints dictate that bidders tighten their purse strings in measure with the financial outlook felt by the citizens to whom they are accountable.