Asunción ready to debut

Asunción ready to debut

Asunción will debut this Saturday as host of the South American Games, which from October 1 to 15 will bring together more than 4,500 athletes to compete in 34 sports that will mark the beginning of the path to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

With last minute touch-ups in squares and public places that until a few days ago housed families affected by a fire that consumed their homes in December 2020, the authorities have tried to get the city ready to receive tourists and other members of the delegations of the 15 countries attending the games of the South American Sports Organization (Odesur).

The historic Defensores de Chaco soccer stadium will host the opening ceremony, which will be headed by President Mario Abdo Benítez, and will include among its attractions a range of local artists and the Argentine singer Tini as a guest. During a press conference this Friday, the general coordinator of the Asunción 2022 Games, Ricardo Deggeller, said that they expect the arrival of 4,530 athletes, some 2,000 officials and another 1,200 judges from abroad.

There will be competitions in 34 sports and 53 modalities that will take place in Asunción, as well as the city of Encarnación, the capital of the Itapúa department, which borders Argentina. The Itaipu binational hydroelectric plant, located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, will be the scene of other sports.

The commander of the National Police, Gilberto Fleitas, assured in the same press conference that they will guarantee security and traffic in the capital. Fleitas indicated, without specifying a figure, that he will be mobilizing “almost 50%” of the Police’s operational personnel and they will have the support of the Military Forces, the Highway Police and the Prosecutor’s Office.

He also anticipated that the opening ceremony will take place under the watchful eye of the authorities, after cargo drivers, passenger services and motorcycle unions threatened to protest this Saturday in the vicinity of the stadium to demand a reduction in the price of the fuels.

“The Police are going to be acting firmly, we are going to comply with the laws and the Constitution,” Fleitas pointed out, and warned that there is no possibility of large trucks entering the country’s capital, given the warning issued by leaders of this guild.

Deggeller had indicated that they anticipate a total attendance of some 400,000 people during the 15 days of the games, with an estimated daily maximum of 20,000 people (between accredited and public), although that figure may increase with those attending the concerts and other activities.

The games represented a global investment for the country of US$80 million, added the official, who is also the general director of Sports of the National Sports Secretariat (SND). The organization has occupied approximately 60,000 beds, which represents almost 80% of the hotel system in Asunción and its neighboring towns. Behind all this machinery are some 500 people from the local organizing committee, more than 4,000 volunteers and between 12,000 and 14,000 directly involved in the provision of services and logistics.

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