Hungary’s figure skating federation said Wednesday it has withdrawn from hosting next year’s European Championships, citing rising energy prices and the war in neighbouring Ukraine.
“Due to the protracted war in our country’s neighbourhood, its impact on the economy and the energy prices that significantly affect skating, after lengthy consideration MOKSZ (the federation) is withdrawing from the organisation of the 2024 Figure Skating and Ice Dance European Championships,” said a statement on the federation’s website.
Budapest was awarded the hosting rights for the meet – scheduled for January next year – by the International Skating Union (ISU) in 2021.
According to local media reports the federation pulled out after failing to secure adequate state funding to host the championships.
The decision follows Hungary’s partial withdrawal last January from co-hosting the 2024 European Women’s Handball Championships with Austria and Switzerland, also over financial reasons.
Budapest will no longer host games at those championships, although the provincial city of Debrecen remains as a host location.
The hosting withdrawals come as Hungary’s economy struggles with stagnant growth and rampant inflation.
A long-running spat with the EU over democratic values and corruption has also held up billions of euros in bloc funding for Budapest.
Since Hungary’s sports-mad Prime Minister Viktor Orban began ploughing state funding into sports and stadia development after coming to power in 2010 the Central European country has hosted several major sporting events.
Two World Swimming Championships and Euro 2020 football championship ties have been held in Budapest in recent years while the World Athletics Championships will be staged there in August.