Published on October 21st, 2014 | by John Lyons0
Medal hopes under threat due to budget blow
Chile’s chances of success in next year’s Panamerican Games in Toronto and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio will be severely damaged if the sports budget for next year is confirmed, leading sports officials have warned.
The $2,500 million rise in the budget, equal to 34.4 per cent, has proved to be a hollow figure for the athletes because the vast bulk of that sum, $2,163 million, has been earmarked to subsidise the tickets for the Under-17 football World Cup in Chile next year.
Chile Olympic Committee president Neven Ilic and Deportistas de Alto Rendimiento (High Performance Sportsmen and Women) president Claudia Vera have both blasted the decision.
Ilic said: “I´m sorry for the sportsmen and women because we were thinking that with the figure they had told us we could have prepared better for the Panamerican Games.
“With this budget, I imagine that the headlines next year will be ´Chile failed´ and that ´Chile didn’t achieve the medals expected´. But how are we going to demand our sportspeople to achieve success if the economic support is practically nothing?
“Here the vision is that the sportsmen and women of high performance don´t deserve more, that is what there is and sort it out as you can. It´s hard to say it, but that is the reality they are presenting us with.”
Vera said: “We are indignant and very surprised because this increase is very different to what we were told.
“In total, there are only $300,000 millions of pesos that they are increasing for 2015, but a big part of that figure is destined for the construction of stadiums or polideportivos.
“The preparation of high performance for the Panamerican Games and the Olympic Games is going to be very low and with little projection.”
Both Ilic and Vera believe there is still time for the government to change the budget and put things right. If not, the future looks bleak.