Associated Press May 26, 2023 3:16 PM ET1 minute read
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Swimming’s governing body said Friday it wants to leave the Olympics’ hometown of Switzerland and move its headquarters to Hungary.
World Aquatics signed a working agreement with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government officials in Budapest.
Budapest hosted the World Aquatics Championships in 2017 and 2022, and will host again in 2027. It also houses the offices of the governing bodies of the Olympic sports of judo and weightlifting.
“Hungary has repeatedly proved to be a wonderful host for our sport and for our athletes,” said World Aquatics President Husain al-Mussalam, adding that the governing body “remains sincerely grateful for that.”
The world swimming body, then known by its French acronym FINA, celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2018 by inaugurating its new headquarters in Lausanne on a mountain road next to the Swiss Supreme Court. The 19th century mansion was extended with modern offices.
World Aquatics noted on Friday that it has “several development centers around the world” – including Russia, Senegal and Thailand – and Budapest “has dedicated facilities for aquatics training and competitions”.
Media in Budapest reported that World Aquatics aims to have people from Hungary fill half of its jobs there.
The swimming organization was founded in 1908 in London and moved to Lausanne in 1986.