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Central American Games 2022 cancelled due to IOC suspension of Guatemala

The Central American Sports Organization (ORDECA) decided Monday to cancel the XII Central American Games, scheduled for October 27 to November 13 in Costa Rica and Guatemala, due to the suspension of Guatemala by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

ORDECA’s executive committee “decided to cancel the XII edition of the Central American Games to be organized jointly (between) Guatemala and Costa Rica,” the organization said in a statement. 

The decision was taken in “view of the governance situation that affects the normal operation of the National Olympic Committee of Guatemala in accordance with the Olympic Charter and in view of the administrative and financial insecurity that such a situation implies,” it added.

The IOC suspended on Thursday for external interference to the Olympic Committee of Guatemala, which has been facing for almost a year a dispute in the election of its leaders, a dispute that transcended to the local justice system. 

The Constitutional Court (CC), Guatemala’s highest legal instance, suspended “for obscure reasons (…) a number of provisions of the status and regulations” of the country’s National Olympic Committee (NOC), the IOC said last week. 

However, the Olympic Charter requires that the NOCs “maintain their autonomy” and resist “all pressures,” especially “legal and political,” a major tenet of Olympism that leads to regular conflicts between the IOC and certain governments, it added.

The IOC, however, delayed the suspension of Guatemala until October 15, hoping to find in that time “an acceptable solution” with the Guatemalan authorities, without which the affected athletes would not be able to represent their country in international competitions.

“In order to offer Central American athletes, the opportunity to compete in the Central American Games (…) we will proceed with the opening of the applications of the host cities” in 2023 “and thus have an ample period of organization” for the 2025 Games, ORDECA detailed. 

The Central American competition is part of the regional cycle towards the Paris-2024 Olympics, which also includes the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador and the Pan American Games in Chile, both to be held next year.   

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