Kraków and Polish Government in dispute over 2023 European Games funding

A funding dispute has broken out over Kraków's hosting of the 2023 European Games ©Getty Images

Kraków’s hosting of the 2023 European Games has reportedly been impacted by a dispute with the Polish Government over funding.

The city says it needs financial guarantees to go ahead in three years’ time, according to Wyborcza.

Government officials have hit back, however, resulting in a state of deadlock.

No official or binding contracts regarding funding have reportedly been signed.

“From the very beginning, Kraków has consistently and very clearly stated under what conditions we can start organising this event,” said Monika Chylaszek, the press spokesman of the city’s Mayor Jacek Majchrowski.

“Let me remind you that this proposal came to us from the headquarters. 

“It was the Government that offered us to try to be the host.

“We agreed to it only on condition that the Government subsidised the necessary infrastructure, sports buildings. 

“Thanks to them, we could implement these investments faster. 

“This is a benefit for both the inhabitants and the city.” 

Kraków Mayor Jacek Majchrowski, left, has reportedly asked for Government assurances ©Getty Images
Kraków Mayor Jacek Majchrowski, left, has reportedly asked for Government assurances ©Getty Images

Jacek Sasin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and the Government official responsible for overseeing preparations for the 2023 Games, has been critical of Majchrowski.

“On the one hand, he is the organiser, on the other, he expects someone to organise the games in Kraków for him,” Sasin said on RMF FM.

“It would be good if he finally made such a decision.

“Kraków is the organiser of the Games, not the Government.

“We, as a Government, do not run away from the support of the organisers of these Games, we are ready for it. 

“On the other hand, it is by no means the case that the Government will be taking care of the organisers today, including President Jacek Majchrowski.” 

Sasin said that Kraków should sign a contract and claimed that only then could the region’s funding needs be calculated.

Kraków and the Małopolska region were confirmed as the hosts of the third edition of the European Games in June 2019.

Wyborcza reported that the stand-off could see the Games moved to Poland’s Silesia region, although this would require the approval of the European Olympic Committees (EOC).

In 2019, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was due to be held in Kraków before being moved to Gliwice in Silesia, apparently due to another dispute over funding. 

“I think it would be good for him [Majchrowski] to make a final decision [on] whether he wants to be this organiser or not,” Sasin added.

insidethegames has asked the EOC for comment.