The Colombian city of Barranquilla has been stripped of its rights to host the 2027 edition of the Pan American (PanAm) Games, the quadrennial multi-sport tournament for North and South American nations.
The Colombian Ministry of Sports, the government ministry in charge of sports for the country, had failed to transfer funding to the PanAm Sports Organization (PASO) governing body that was required to secure the rights to host the games, by the deadline.
The PASO cited “innumerable” breaches of contract by the Colombian authorities as the reasoning behind its “unanimous” decision to withdraw hosting rights.
After an October 19 meeting, the Colombian authorities requested an extension to the payment deadline, which the PASO agreed to, with a new deadline period of December 30, 2023, and January 30, 2024, agreed for the payments to be made.
However, given that the Colombian Ministry of Sport had not responded since the beginning of this deadline period, the PASO elected to withdraw Barranquilla’s rights to host the games.
The city initially bid for the games in 2018 off the back of its hosting of that year’s Central American and Caribbean games, and it was confirmed as host in August 2021, without a vote as no other city had bid.
Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia had been interested in hosting initially, but never submitted an official bid, nor is it thought to be interested in picking up the hosting rights now they have been taken away from Barranquilla.
Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires had also been interested, but as it had pulled out of contention for 2023’s hosting rights for financial reasons, it also did not bid for 2027 and is unlikely to bid again in a new process as the country continues to fiscally struggle.
The PASO will now open a new bidding process for the competition over the coming months, with the city of Asunción in Paraguay reported to be heavily considering a bid.
A pair of Mexican cities, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon, are also reportedly weighing up bids to host the games.
Mexico last hosted the games in 2011, in Guadalajara, and hosted a further two editions before that, while Paraguay has never hosted an edition of the PanAm games.