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Monday, July 27, 2020
CACSO Confirm Plans to Host the CAC Games

The Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) has confirmed it still plans to stage the 2022 Central American and Caribbean Games, despite the withdrawal of hosts Panama City.

Panama withdrew from hosting the Games on July 24th, with the coronavirus pandemic cited as the reason behind the decision.

Panama is the Central American country with the highest number of deaths and infections from coronavirus.

More than 60,000 people in Panama have contracted COVID-19, resulting in at least 1,250 deaths.

The CACSO Executive Board held a meeting to discuss Panama's withdrawal.

A statement issued by CACSO President Luis Mejia Oviedo said that the Executive Board had expressed its "firm conviction that all efforts be directed towards celebrating the Games in 2022".

Oviedo said the Executive Board's support for the 2022 event was to ensure the "hard work of athletes in the region is not harmed at any time".

The organization’s Legal Commission, chaired by Christopher Samuda, is set to review the current contract signed by CACSO with the Panama 2022 Organizing Committee.

The CACSO said the Commission will view the contract "in order to establish any noncompliance and measures as soon as possible".

It is claimed this will give closure to the contractual relationship between CACSO and the Organizing Committee.

Oviedo previously criticized Panamanian authorities for relaying the decision to withdraw as hosts to the media first, rather than the body responsible for the event.

He said he had previously received a letter from Eduardo Cerda, the general director of the Government agency for sport in the country, confirming Panama's commitment to hosting the Games.

The 2022 Central American and Caribbean Games are scheduled to be the 24th edition of the event, which was first held in Mexico City in 1926.

Panama City had been scheduled to host for the third time, following 1938 and 1970.

The Games were last held in the Colombian city Barranquilla in 2018, which saw 37 countries competing across 36 sports.

CACSO vice-president Sara Rosario has been tasked with chairing a new Venues Commission, which will investigate potential options for a replacement host.
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