Hungarian Swimming Federation Wants European League to Replace Israel as Championship Host
In view of the current security situation in the Jewish state, the Hungarian Swimming Federation asked the European Swimming League (LEN) to re-examine Israel’s hosting of the short-course pool championship this winter, Channel 10 News Online reported on Tuesday.
The championship was slated to take place in December at the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports in Netanya. The Israel Swimming Association (ISA) has spent months preparing for the prestigious event, budgeted at 10 million shekels ($2.6 million). And it is the first time that Israel has had the privilege of hosting a competition of this magnitude, with hundreds of participants from 50 European countries.
The response on the part of the ISA to its potential cancellation was short, but not sweet: “The Hungarians are trying to steal our [opportunity] to host the event.”
The heads of the ISA also called on Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev to intervene. This may not end up being necessary, however, as ISA Chairman Shai Shechner spoke to Italian Swimming Federation President Paolo Barelli, who assured him that the championship will take place in Israel as scheduled, after all.