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FISU praises Chungcheong’s preparations for 2027 summer world university games

July 10, 2024 - 19:03 By Shin Yong-bae
FISU President Leonz Eder converses with Secretary General Eric Saintrond during a press conference at Sejong City Hall on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

SEJONG -- Leaders of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) expressed high expectations for the success of its 2027 summer sports games after inspecting the event locations in South Korea’s central region of Chungcheong this week.

The high-level delegation team led by President Leonz Eder from FISU, the governing body of the worldwide sports competitions for student-athletes, came to South Korea on July 7 to receive an update on the preparations from the organizing committee and to tour key facilities in the host region. The delegates included FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond and Director Jing Zhao.

“In this region here, I realize a spirit of optimism, an atmosphere of optimism and a pioneering spirit,” FISU President Eder said in a news conference at Sejong City Hall on Tuesday.

“We have huge expectations from Korea because they’ve got great experiences with all games that have been organized in Korea,” he added, referring to South Korea’s past hosting of the biennial FISU World University Games, formerly and commonly known as the Universiade, in Muju in 1997, Daegu in 2003 and Gwangju 2015.

Stressing the importance of teamwork by the four co-hosts for the 2027 games – Sejong, Daejeon, South and North Chungcheong Provinces -- he said, “This is a challenge, but it will also be a new opportunity.”

“If you work together in a new frame for such a great project, this may also lead to future cooperation between the four cities and provinces even in the fields of life,” he added.

The delegation also responded positively to the organizing committee’s plan to change the closing ceremony venue from the main stadium to a large outdoor park.

“It is a great idea to choose the Sejong Central Park as the closing venue. I think it will be a great place for local residents and sports teams to enjoy outdoors,” FISU Secretary General Saintrond said.

About the possibility of North Korea’s participation in the 2027 FISU sports games, FISU President Eder said, “North Korea is a regular member in FISU. We have 164 members and we are in regular contact with all our members including North Korea.”

“And they of course will receive the invitation to register in FISU Games 2027. And we monitor carefully the development, but now it is too early to say, to expect whether they come or not. It is at the end of decision,” he said.