Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said in Fukuoka, Japan, on Tuesday that the World Aquatics (WA) Congress, formerly known as Fina, has approved the board’s proposal to move its headquarters to Budapest.
Addressing the congress, Minister Szijjártó welcomed the decision, adding that Budapest already provided a home to two international sports associations and ten international organisations, eight of them linked to the United Nations, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The government will provide WA’s site free of charge for 15 years, as well as tax exemptions and tax cuts, and negotiations on infrastructural upgrades will also be undertaken, he said. Hungary has always punched above its weight in aquatics, he said, noting that the country was one of the organisation’s founders in 1908 and has won 37 Olympic gold medals in swimming and nine in water polo over the years. He also said Hungary was proud that after hosting events in 2017 and 2022, the country will again be the venue of the World Aquatics Championships in 2027, reaching a “treble” within ten years. After signing the agreement on moving the HQ from Lausanne, Switzerland, Szijjártó received an honour from president Husain Al-Musallam for his work in promoting aquatic sports.