MOSCOW, January 10 (R-Sport) - Russia’s state Audit Chamber has said there are “questions” over the financial health of the 2013 University Games in Kazan after reports emerged in the Russian media that the project could be on the verge of bankruptcy.
The office of Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who doubles as head of the organizing committee, warned against exaggerating the issue after a Russian daily said it had obtained a leaked document showing the Games could not meet its tax obligations.
The Izvestia newspaper said it possessed a letter from Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, stating that the Games’ cash reserves fell short of its tax bill by over 100 million rubles ($33 million). Bankruptcy loomed, the newspaper said.
The Audit Chamber appeared to concede the letter’s validity, but said its contents had been misinterpreted.
“The report from the Audit Chamber of the Russian Federation simply indicated the necessity of resolving questions in the area of taxation that may arise during the implementation of partnership agreements during the Universiade,” the Audit Chamber said in a statement.
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, the Audit Chamber said.
Shuvalov’s office strongly denied claims the Games could go bankrupt.
“Information about the alleged bankruptcy of the Universiade is far-fetched and is a product of the excessive dramatization of official correspondence,” his office said in an e-mailed statement.
“All questions and difficulties that may arise are being resolved in working order. It appears someone wanted to find a sensation where there is none.”
The Universiade is to be held from July 6 to 17 and was awarded to Kazan in 2008, with the Russian city beating Vigo in Spain and Gwangju in South Korea.
The organizers suffered a blow last month when the 45,000-seater football stadium being built in the town was delayed due to problems with the turf.
No football will be played at the site during the Games, as organizers had previously planned, although the opening and closing ceremonies will take place there on a concrete surface.