More cuts will be made to services for athletes at the Paralympics next month unless additional funding is rapidly secured for the cash-strapped games in Rio de Janeiro, officials said Monday.
Crisis talks were held Monday by International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven with the Brazilian government and Rio’s mayor in a late attempt to preserve the quality of the games in recession-battered Brazil.
The IPC has warned that countries might not be able to travel to Rio if they do not receive grants that should have been paid last month. An effort is underway to distribute $7 million in overdue grants to help nations get to Brazil for the Sept. 7-18 event.
Craven said an injunction prevents new public funding going toward the Paralympics unless the Rio 2016 organizing committee opens up its books. He said Mayor Eduardo Paes was prepared to deliver 150 million reals ($47 million) to cover costs and “to ensure the success of the games.”
Paes says the money is vital for the games, which he says have failed to attract sponsors and sell tickets.
“Clearly, the simplest and easiest way around this is for the Rio 2016 organizing committee to be open and transparent with its financial records in order to allow this additional funding to come in.”
Craven described the situation as “pretty precarious,” but doesn’t believe any sports will be cut from the Paralympic program.
“If no extra funding is available then the organizing committee will have to implement further cuts to the Paralympic Games on top of the cuts we have already made alongside the IOC and Olympics.”