Funding agreement sets Mediterranean Games on course after postponement

The next edition of the Mediterranean Games is set to proceed as planned in 2018 after a funding agreement for the multi-sport event was reached between the Spanish Sports Council (CSD) and local organisers in the city of Tarragona.

In November, financial difficulties caused the event to be postponed by one year. The 18th edition of the multi-sport event was due to take place from June 30 to July 9 this year, but will now take place from June 22 to July 1, 2018.

A delay in the formation of a new Spanish government had been blamed for the withholding of funds for preparations, with the postponement having been met with widespread criticism. Mariano Rajoy was sworn in for a second term as Spain’s prime minister in October 2016, ending a 10-month government deadlock.

Under the funding deal signed between José Ramón Lete, president of the CSD, and Josep Fèlix Ballesteros, Mayor of Tarragona City Council and president of the Tarragona Organising Committee 2018, the CSD has committed €3.75m ($4.47m) to cover the operating expenses of the 2018 Mediterranean Games, along with a further €3m to fully finance the construction of an Olympic-standard aquatics complex. A further €2m in funding will come through a sponsorship from state lottery body Loterías y Apuestas del Estado.

Lete said that the signing of the agreement is “a new impetus to ensure the success of the 2018 Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, to which the government is firmly committed.”

The Mediterranean Games is held every four years and has traditionally featured athletes from 23 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. The Turkish city of Mersin hosted the most recent edition of the event in 2013.