Already since the beginning of the crisis in March, those responsible have been looking for a solution to postpone the EuroGames in Düsseldorf and save the years of work of the many volunteers. Of the expected 4,000 participants in the international sports tournament of the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF), more than half had already registered by then.
The aim was to organise a twin tournament in 2021 – together with EuroGames 2021 in Copenhagen, which would have made it possible for the people of Düsseldorf to realise their dream of EuroGames in their own city, even if this would have meant fewer participating athletes for both organisers.
A release from EuroGames 2020 Düsseldorf, said: ‘In Copenhagen the EuroGames take place at the same time as WorldPride, which would probably have led to far fewer participants. But soon it was clear: For the Danes this was not an option.’
The release continued: “Even the EGLSF board of directors was not able to provide support during the crisis. There were contradictory statements and in the end there was no support for the Düsseldorf compromise proposal, especially as there was a fear of infringement suits from the Copenhageners.
‘The Düsseldorf member clubs of the EGLSF are now calling for personnel consequences and above all for a fundamental reform of the European LGBTQ+ sports association. There are already numerous proposals to prevent a disaster such as the EuroGames 2020 Düsseldorf in the future.’
Goetz Fellrath, Co-Managing Director of EuroGames 2020 Düsseldorf, added: ‘It‘s over. Out of the coronavirus crisis there would have been the chance to create something new, to support each other. We all couldn‘t do that together.
‘With the now cancelled EuroGames in Düsseldorf, we do not want to leave behind ruins, but a positive legacy for the future. The values and goals that the EGLSF represents remain close to our hearts.’
Those responsible for EuroGames 2020 Düsseldorf would like to thank all the volunteers who have committed more than 20,000 hours, the City of Düsseldorf, and the State of NRW for their support, all the partners and above all the participants who had a desire to see the EuroGames in Düsseldorf succeed.
For more info, visit the EuroGames 2020 Düsseldorf website here.