Russia’s state Audit Chamber said there are "questions" over the financial health of the 2013 University Games in the city of Kazan after reports emerged in the Russian media that the project "could be on the verge of bankruptcy," according to R-SPORT. The office of Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov, who is also the University Games Organizing Committee head, "warned against exaggerating the issue" after Russian newspaper The Izvestia said that it had "obtained a leaked document showing the Games could not meet its tax obligations." The Izvestia said that the Games’ cash reserves fell short of its tax bill by more than RUB 100M ($3.3M). The Audit Chamber said that talks about the Games’ finances "are under way" between the Audit Chamber, the federal Finance Ministry and the regional government of Tatarstan, where the Games will be held. Shuvalov’s office "strongly denied claims the Games could go bankrupt" (R-SPORT, 1/10).
Events and Attractions
Hong Kong FA officials are "putting their own money on the line," guaranteeing that next month's Lunar New Year Cup "will not lose money," according to Chan Kin-wa of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. After a three-year break during which individual clubs ran the tournament, the HKFA has decided to "return as the official organiser, albeit with a weakened cast." The teams invited for the two-day tournament are Thai champions Muangthong United, mainland side Shanghai East Asia, Busan I Park of South Korea and Hong Kong League XI. A source said, "We understand these teams are not household names in Hong Kong, but at least we will not lose any money. Four of our senior officials have agreed to underwrite the tournament." The four officials underwriting the tournament are HKFA Chair Brian Leung Hung-tak, Vice Chairs Steven Lo Kit-sing and Pui Kwan-kay, and Board Dir Ken Ng Kin. They are also "tasked with soliciting sponsors and selling ground advertising at Hong Kong Stadium" (SCMP, 1/10).
The German handball national team "is entering the word championship as an underdog," according to the SID. The 23rd IHF Men's Handball World Championship will take place in Spain from Friday until Jan. 27. Sports betting provider bwin will pay out 21-times the stake if the team of coach Martin Heuberger wins the tournament, putting Germany in seventh place together with Poland. Top favorite to win the title is tournament host Spain with 3:1 odds, followed by Olympic Gold Medal winner and defending champion France (3.5:1) as well as Denmark and Croatia (each 6:1). Should Qatar win the tournament, bwin will pay €1,001 ($1,323) for €1 ($1.32) (SID, 1/10).
Iraq has revealed it is ready to host the 2015 Gulf Cup of Nations, with new facilities "almost ready for the first football tournament to be held in the country" since the U.S.-led invasion in '03, according to the GULF TIMES. The '13 tournament is currently being held in Manama, Bahrain but was initially scheduled to take place in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. It was moved due to security concerns, but Iraqis said that the decision was "politically motivated." Deputy Sports Minister Essam al-Diwan said, "Security and safety will be ensured." Al-Diwan said that the new Sports City in Basra will be inaugurated in March, "along with six hotels to accommodate teams and visitors" (GULF TIMES, 1/9).
Global summits organizer IRN Ltd. has announced that its inaugural World Sports Congress 2013, launching in London from Feb. 26-27, has attracted support from the European Commission, U.K. government department UKTI and sporting organizations from around the world, including LOCOG, Sochi, Amsterdam Arena, Glasgow Life, Transport for London, AS Roma, UK Sport, South Africa Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and insidethegames.biz. The conference will focus on sports infrastructure, specifically large scale projects, the challenges they pose and the factors affecting commercial viability (IRN). ... The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia held a presentation "regarding the preparation of athletes" for the 27th Southeast Asia Games. The committee said that "in accordance with the government sub-decree on rewarding success at international competitions," each Gold Medal-winning athlete will receive $6,000, Silver Medalist $4,000 and Bronze $2,000 (PHNOM PENH POST, 1/10). ... Pakistan has revealed it would host a multinational Super League in March in hopes the Twenty20 competition can revive int'l cricket in the "troubled country." The Pakistan Cricket Board plans to host a Twenty20 league on the lines of the "glitzy, cash-rich Indian Premier League," which has featured more than 100 foreign players since its start in '08 (AFP, 1/10).