Spanish Olympic Committee accuses Aragon of breaking consensus over bid as IOC visit looms
Alejandro Blanco suggests project will go ahead with Catalan government and Aragonese ski resorts' support
The Spanish Olympic Committee's president, Alejandro Blanco, has accused Catalonia's neighboring region, Aragon, of having broken the consensus originally reached with Barcelona over a 2030 Winter Olympics joint bid.
In interviews with Catalunya Ràdio and Rac1 stations on Wednesday, he said that the Aragonese president, Javier Lambán, "has his responsibility and he may know why he is acting this way."
Blanco, leader of the organization that has to formally submit any Olympic bid, confirmed that his cabinet denied a deal on where each event will take place after his own technical representatives had greenlighted it.
"We cannot hold six meetings and then, when a deal is done, say that it is all useless," he said, explaining that the agreement included 54 events for Aragon and 42 for Catalonia.
Yet, despite the discrepancies, Blanco says his organization is determined to move forward with the candidacy. On Wednesday at 5pm, he will host a press conference unveiling his next steps.
Time is now running out, since the International Olympic Committee's president, Thomas Bach, will be in Spain on June 1 to visit a sports center for the preparation of refugee athletes near Madrid. Yet, the 2030 bid is expected to be on his agenda.
For Blanco, Aragon's refusal to accept what was agreed has "damaged" the Spanish Olympic Committee's stance ahead of Bach's arrival. "The project's draft project will not be ready as I had hoped, but I will anyway talk to Bach to brief him about the current situation and to make clear we continue with the idea of hosting the Games," he told Catalunya Ràdio.
"We will tell him that we want to pursue the opportunity, but will have to ask him for more time because it is difficult to find consensus since this is a very important project," added Blanco on Rac1.
Without unveiling the content of his press conference later on the day, the Spanish Olympic Committee's head suggested that the project could go ahead with Catalonia's support, along with that of the Aragonese ski resorts that had been picked to host the events, even if Lambán's cabinet is against it.
According to him, "in the past 24 hours" businesspeople in resorts have been in touch with his team to make clear that they are still willing to host the Olympics.