Sydney 2002’s financial failings do not mean the end of the Gay Games on Australian soil, according to the international Games governing body.

Federation of Gay Games co-president Kathleen Webster said another Australian city would have as much chance as any other bidder for a future event.

Participants and spectators continue to tell us they had the time of their lives in Australia, Webster said.

Let me say [the Games] were a success because they enabled the Federation and Sydney 2002 to fulfil our mission to provide an event where the LGBT community could come together to express ourselves openly and to experience camaraderie and validation through our achievements in sport.

The praise comes in the face of a $426,632 debt owed to the Federation, which has made the international organisation the second biggest creditor.

Webster said the Federation would not strike off the amount to ease the Games’ estimated $2.5 million overall debt.

The Federation has already renegotiated the debt originally promised by Sydney 2002, has assumed a share in the risk inherent in the currency exchange rate (an obligation not in the original licence agreement), has agreed on more than one occasion to revise the payment schedule so that Sydney 2002 had adequate cash flow to conduct daily business and pay staff [and] has accepted late payments and delayed payments without assessing interest or penalties as stipulated by the contract, she said.

Webster said the Federation was committed to working towards a fair and equitable plan to protect the interest of all Sydney 2002 creditors.

Naturally, the Federation is saddened to learn that [the Games] has resulted in an overall deficit for our host organisation.

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