New Zealand government freezes financial aid to organizers

New Zealand government freezes financial aid to organizers

Wellington, New Zealand | AFP | Thursday 07/02/2020 – The New Zealand government announced, on Thursday, the freezing of its financial aid to America's Cup Events Limited (ACE), the organizing company for the next edition of the famous sailing event, following suspicions of embezzlement on the part of Team New Zealand.

“It is no longer our intention to make further payments to ACE. We will review our position as the investigation progresses,” the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Employment said in a press release.

“ACE and Emirates Team New Zealand support the government’s decision to freeze funds until the end of the investigation,” ACE, a subsidiary of Team New Zealand (TNZ), the winning federation in the last edition of one of the most popular tournaments, responded on Twitter: “ ACE and Emirates Team New Zealand support the government's decision to freeze funds until the end of the investigation.” The most prestigious sporting events in the world, in 2017 in Bermuda.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff responded to Radio New Zealand, saying: “While you regret this situation, you have no other choice now but to try to resolve it fairly and transparently.”

The New Zealand Herald revealed earlier this week that TNZ was defrauded into paying one of its suppliers in Europe and lost track of the money transferred to a bank account in Hungary.

In New Zealand, where sailing is a major sport, TNZ's situation worries even the government, which has launched an internal investigation into the work of the New Zealand federation.

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To host the prestigious sailing event, from 6 to 21 March 2021 in Auckland Bay, the government and local authorities have already invested NZ$250 million (about €145 million).

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