Fina, the world governing body for aquatic sports, has received interest from a number of cities over the staging of its 2017 World Swimming Championships after Guadalajara withdrew as host last week.
Cornel Marculescu, executive director at Fina, told the Associated Press news agency that “various” unnamed cities have offered to step into the breach and that he expects a replacement to be named within the next three weeks. The 24-person Fina Bureau will vote on the new host once proposals are formalised.
"I'm looking around and probably in two to three weeks we will have a new organiser," Marculescu said. "There will be no bidding process because there's not enough time. We need to solve it directly ourselves."
The Mexican Sports Institute cited budget shortfalls as falling oil prices hit the country’s economy to be the reason behind its decision – an excuse Marculescu views sceptically, alleging shortfalls across Guadalajara’s preparations for the event.
"I don't think Guadalajara ever wanted the championships," he said. "I don't think it's a financial issue. Oil prices are dropping all over the world. We discovered in December and January that Guadalajara was not even creating an organising committee, even though they signed everything. For sure there were other areas in Mexico that would have been happy to host the championships. But now it's finished."
The global downturn in oil prices has also impacted strongly upon Russia’s economy, but Marculescu has no fears that this year’s world championships – scheduled to run from July 24 to August 9 in Kazan – will go the same way as Guadalajara.
"Kazan is super okay, no problem," he added. "I was there last week to look at everything with the local authorities and they have completed a very complex task of constructing the swimming pool inside a football stadium."
Budapest will host the 2021 world championships and 2017 world junior championships and AP reported that Hungarian Swimming Federation president Tamas Gyarfas was open to the possibility of switching these two events around in order to replace Guadalajara at short notice.