Flash! 2005 World Championships in Montreal Canceled? Moved to Long Beach? Confusion Reigns

By Phillip Whitten

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada, December 21. THE 2005 FINA World Swimming Championships will not be held in Montreal, according to a report issued just 10 minutes ago by the presse canadienne.

However, Harold Cliff, Special Adviser and Competition Director for the World Championships told SwimInfo that the report was “premature,” indicating that the Organizing Committee would be given an extension until January 17, 2005 to come up with the funding needed to support the meet. “We will be issuing an update later today,” he said.

According to the initial report, which appeared in the Montreal Gazette, the competition, which is scheduled for July 17-31 in Montreal on the Ile Ste. Helene, was canceled due to the inability of the Montreal unable to meet its budget constraints. Government sources in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa, have refused to cover any budget deficits. Organizers had a shortfall of $12 million.

According to Canadian sources quoted in the original story today, the meet will be moved to California. In a vote by FINA, Montreal had been awarded the competition by a margin of one ballot over Long Beach. However, an authoritative source in Long Beach, who asked not to be identified, said, "there is no way that Long Beach will host this meet. We have made no plans to host the meet and there are no hotel rooms available."

The World Championships are expected to attract 25,000 athletes and coaches from over 170 countries, competing in five events: swimming, open water swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming.

original story source: Story Link