Funding shortfalls deal huge blow to Paralympics

Cuts will mean reductions in workforce at the Games, as 10 nations face being unable to compete

Philip Craven

Image: David Davies / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has insisted that the Games will still go ahead despite huge funding cuts to venues, transport and the workforce in Rio.

A funding shortfall is to blame for the cuts, which will see the Deodoro Park closed and the attendance capacities at a number of the other venues cut in order to reduce the number of staff needed.

In a statement about the financial troubles, the IPC said that "Rio 2016 Organising Committee’s budget to deliver the Paralympic Games is not at the level they originally committed to. Despite this, the Paralympic Movement’s global governing body remains confident of the impact the Games will have on making for a more equitable society."

Speaking about the news, president of the IPC Philip Craven said that: "never before in the 56 year history of the Games have we faced circumstances like this." 

Earlier this week, Craven expressed his concern over rumours that the budget for the Paralympics had been spent on the Olympics instead, leaving a massive shortfall to be made up, and described the financial situation as "precarious."

Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, assured the IPC that he would be able to deliver €42m, after a court injunction against the organising committee which prevented it from receiving additional public funding was lifted.

As a result, €8 million in delayed travel grants have been paid to athletes to make it to the games, but it now appears that as many as 10 countries will not be able to participate. 

Craven stated that "the IPC is working with them to find solutions and ensure their participation here in Rio. We want full participation here. We want all eligible countries to send their athletes to the Games. It’s what the athletes deserve and it is what the athletes want after years of training and dedication."

According to the BBC, only 12% of tickets for the events have been sold, 19 days out from the start of the Paralympics.