MOSCOW, March 1 (Itar-Tass) — Russia has given up its plans to host Youth Games in the republic of Dagestan in 2018. It was a joint decision of the government and the president. The government decided it would be too much to hold another big sports event along with the World Football Cup in 2018.
March 1 is the last day when applications for hosting the Youth Olympics 2018 are accepted, the Izvestia writes. All documents to back Dagestan’s application were ready already at the beginning of the year. But after a long discussion the Russian government and the national Olympic Committee decided not to submit the application, the newspaper cites a government source. It was planned that the venue will be either Makhachkala or Derbent.
Russia’s Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy opposed the idea of hosting the Youth Olympic Games in 2018, along with the World Football Cup. According to the government source, the ministry said it would be inexpedient to hot one more big sports event in the summer of 2018. “The ministry suggested that Russia should apply for hosting either winter games in 2020, or summer youth games in 2022,” the Izvestia cited the government source.
The Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth Police has refused to provide an official comment. “Russia has not rejected the idea, it was the Olympic Committee that has opted not to file an application,” a spokesman for the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Ratner, said. According to Ratner, under requirements of the International Olympic Committee, a potential venue of the youth games should have all necessary infrastructure and preparations to such games must not entail big spending. No such restrictions are applicable to “adult” Olympics.
The Russian government has unexpectedly changed its mind about this project, writes the Vedomosti daily. A month ago, the press service of Dagestan’s president reported that the republic’s application for Youth Games had been recognized as promising at a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. On February 18, the deputy prime minister ordered Dagestan’s president to attract investors to design and build sports facilities and infrastructure for the would-be youth games.
Although, along with that, in his report to the Russian president Kozak recommended not to hurry to file the application. The government assessed the complicated political situation in Dagestan, as well as the lack of infrastructure, and decided not to apply for these games, Kozak’s spokesman told the Vedomosti. According to a Kremlin source, it was a joint decision of the Russian government and the presidential administration: the country lacks necessary funds and administrative resources to hold three international sports events practically concurrently.
The government apprehends that private investors into Olympic facilities might later want the state to buy these facilities, a government source told the Vedomosti.