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Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Trouble Brewing for Pan American Games 2019 Host

The Peruvian Olympic Committee (COP) have been unable to meet a deadline imposed by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) to make an outstanding payment related to Lima 2019, insidethegames can reveal.

A cut-off date of December 31st was set in place with the money for the next edition of the Pan-American Games initially due in 2014.

An extended deadline to meet the sum of $3.3 million, still owed as part of a loan, was agreed by PASO at its Extraordinary General Assembly in Doha in November.

But COP President José Quiñones has admitted that they could not meet this deadline because they have not yet received the required funds from Peruvian authorities.

He claimed he is confident that the money will be paid later this month.

"Unexpected problems delayed the payment," Quiñones, who is also a member of the PASO Executive Committee, told insidethegames.

"Everything will be arranged in the next weeks of January."

The $3.3 million figure comes out of a total of $9.9 million initially owed in 2014.

PASO extended the deadline following delays, with COP chosen as the "guarantor" to repay the funds.

PASO President Julio Maglione is now expected to inform the body's Executive Committee of the failure to meet the deadline before they discuss the road ahead.

Officials from the continental body have indicated to insidethegames that the money has not been paid, but are yet to make a further comment.

Concerns over the slow rate of progress were seemingly alleviated in October after the appointment of Carlos Neuhaus as President of the Organising Committee amid a pledging of support from the new Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Kuczynski claimed to be in the progress of finalising a special bill to speed up the process to transfer funds and finalise contracts.

But the Peruvian political situation has deteriorated in the last month following a series of political scandals.

Education Minister Jaime Saavedra has been sacked by Parliament for irregularities in the purchase of laptops and perceived delays with Lima 2019 preparations.

He attempted to pin the blame on Quiñones before his departure.

Peruvian vice-president Martin Vizcarra is now the official responsible for liaising between the Government and Lima 2019, rather than the Education Minister.

Top politicians have also been implicated in a fresh crisis after Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht admitted to using bribes to secure public contracts in the South American nation.

Kuczynski himself has been among those forced to deny receiving bribes from the company.

Odebrecht are also accused of corruption relating to construction projects surrounding the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It is feared that these problems have distracted from other issues, including preparations for Lima 2019.
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