Colombian sport is experiencing, perhaps, the worst moment in the last 20 years, since the earthquake that has occurred due to the change in thel Ministry of Sport he has it against the wall.

Today the sports federations do not have the resources for the preparation, participation of their athletes in the events of the Olympic cycle, world cups, world championships and qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, nor for the holding of competitions.
(Gerard Piqué faces a new problem, while Shakira went to the US.)

bad steps

Maria Isabel Urrutia, the former minister and who was declared non-existent by the president Gustavo Petro, «For his indelicate actions with the nation’s budget,» he became determined to make a change that has destabilized everything.

It gave the federations the autonomy to manage the budget of each one, in order to hire the coaches and monitor the preparation processes of the selected ones, which was always in charge of the Colombian Olympic Committee (COC).

But that is not all. The contracts that she had to deliver to process the money were never signed. Only boxing and fencing can do it, the rest can’t.

The jCentral American and Caribbean Games of San Salvador they are 3 months and 11 days away from its inauguration. The Panamerican Games de Santiago will take place in 222 days and the Paris Olympics will start in a year, four months and 14 days and the process in the country is on the brink of the abyss.

Astrid Rodriguez, The new Minister of Sport knows this and that is why she has promised to expedite the procedures and to sit down and talk with the COC and with the federations.

«We have to solve quickly and guarantee the conditions for the athletes, in a situation that is pressing us,» Rodríguez told TIME.

difficult situation

There are several federations that have found it difficult to send their athletes to the events, others are literally stopped because they do not have money to finance the transfers and the participation of their athletes in the competitions and even the athletes have had to put their hand in to the pocket so as not to lose the opportunity.

«I can’t wait to see what happens in the country and in the ministry, because we ran out of places.»

“I already started the Olympic qualification and everything has been out of my pocket. I can’t wait to see what happens in the country and in the ministry, because we ran out of places,» he said. Mariana Pajon, three-time Olympic BMX medalist.

And he added: “We are already three months behind and I don’t know how long the connection with the new minister will take. I hope it doesn’t take so long because I can do it, but I don’t want to imagine what is happening with other athletes”.

The conflict of interest between the Ministry of Sports and the COC has wreaked havoc. The federations, happy, because they receive the money one over the other, but the COC is worried.

Mariana Pajón in full competition with Bethany Shriever.

“Today we do not know what is happening with our athletes. The preparation is in limbo. The events of the Olympic cycle are from the COC resort and the money must be given for preparation and participation”, said Ciro Solano, president of the COC.

EL TIEMPO consulted with some presidents of the federations, who issued their concepts on the problem.

“I prefer that the federations manage the money directly. The COC says that we do not have the capacity, it is a fallacy considering that we can manage the resources because it is a fallacy,» he said. Alberto Torrespresident of the boxing federation

Íngrit Valencia thinks about Paris 2024

“The COC on many occasions does not provide us with support for certain events or they limit our support. We know our needs, how to advance the preparation and not be subject to submitting a request to the COC to be told yes or no ”, he added.

«With the resources assigned to us, we have to prepare for the Olympic cycle, that was in the head of the COC.»

There are federations that have many more chances to win medals than others, and they have ‘fought’.

«With the resources that were assigned to us, we have to prepare for the Olympic cycle, that was in the head of the COC and not of the federations, but we had to assume it,» he specified. Mauricio Vargas, President of Fedeciclismo.

“With our own management and resources, we sent the track team to Indonesia and the group left for Egypt, for the Nations Cup. We had money and we have spent it on the national route and on these trips. He touched us, while the contract money arrives, ”Vargas said.


Fedecycling Press

Félix Marrugo, president of the Colombian Athletics FederationHe said that once he received the letter from the Ministry of Sports in which they were informed of the change in the management of resources, he asked the entity to give them the possibility of appointing a financial administrator, an accountant and two legalizers.

“The resources are to manage everything: preparation, participation and realization of events. There will not be the possibility that people who are not are, that is the big difference, because the evaluation is by time and by brand”, specified Marrugo.

Gymnastics has also been harmed, but at the same time it has devised a way so that its process with a view to participating in the different tournaments has not been hindered.

“Everything that has happened is worrying, but hopefully all the processes will be speeded up. We are capable of working with the resource that has been assigned to us, since we make a projection of what is there and what we can count on. We work with the money assigned to us, but we are concerned about time, which is short,» said the president Samir Portillo.

short resources

Several of the presidents emphasized that perhaps the problem is not who manages the money, but that the resources allocated are not enough.

«The most urgent thing is that they speed it up, but there is another big drawback, that the money is not enough.»

“When the conventional money was assigned, we met with the Ministry of Sports to tell them that the amount was reconsidered to find a higher one, they told us that they would look for it. The agreement has not been signed, because we have not received money. The truth is that it is not the most convenient money for what is in the plan”, Vargas.

Julius Cesar Avila is the president of Colombian Paralympic Committee and he is of the same opinion as Vargas.

“The problem is time, everything is on time. There are qualifying tournaments and there are people who don’t have a contract, like athletes and have a coach. The most urgent thing is that they expedite it, but there is another big drawback, that the money is not enough. It is not enough for us to cover everything, they tell us that this is what there is and that they were waiting for an improvement, but so far the issue is very delicate, ”said Ávila.

Portillo stated that although money will always be lacking and will never be enough, the key is that the resources arrive as quickly as possible.

Anthony Zambrano, silver medalist in the 400 meters of Tokyo 2020.

«We are concerned about the times, we are in March and we have moved, we have sent teams to Azerbaijan, to DohaThere is an athlete in the World Cup, but she is one of our resources, but it is important that the resources be delivered because time is pressing”, he declared.
(Dani Alves: dramatic messages from his mother before the trial) (What a great goal! The best of the English day, and it was from a Colombian, video)

Lisandro Rengifo
Editor of EL TIEMPO