Paralympic body seeks Rio mayor’s help over debt

Source:AFP Published: 2016/12/14 0:03:40

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has asked Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes to step in and help them secure over $3 million they are owed from the organizers of the 2016 Games, the BBC said Tuesday.

IPC spokesperson Craig Spence told the BBC his body was "hugely disappointed" the Rio organizers had missed a payment deadline for travel grants just as they had done for the first installment.

The IPC had paid this ­money to smaller countries ­competing at the Paralympics to cover loans they had taken out to ensure their athletes were able to compete in Rio.

As a result the IPC is presently $3.7 million out of pocket - the organizers should have paid the latest installment a fortnight ago - and hoping Paes will come to their aid.

"We're hugely disappointed that the second installment of the travel grants, just like the first set, have not been paid on time by Rio 2016 and are urgently seeking a resolution to this issue from all parties concerned," Spence said. "The IPC has stepped in to keep these smaller NPCs [national Paralympic committees] afloat.

"The longer this situation goes on, the more likely it is that other NPCs come forward asking for financial support from the IPC."

Further complicating the issue is the organizers are believed to have told the IPC they cannot pay them the money because they are owed money by the city authorities and their accounts have been frozen because of two lawsuits by suppliers for other unpaid bills.

Spence said the IPC had sent a letter to Paes, who was responsible for raising crucial funds at a late stage so the Paralympics could go ahead smoothly, overnight Monday seeking his help in the matter.

"Overnight we have sent a letter to Rio mayor Paes, who was hugely supportive of the Paralympic Games, asking him to step in and intervene," ­Spence said.

Posted in: OLYMPICS

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