Universiade: FISU confident in Naples but pressed for time

Director Vandenplas says progress evident, venues ok

(ANSA) - Naples, May 14 - FISU Summer Universiade Director Marc Vandenplas said his organisation is confident that Naples will be ready to host the 2019 World University Games despite the fact that the event is just 15 months away.
    "There's still a lot to do, and there's no time to waste, but the progress that has been made since Commissioner Latella arrived is evident," he said.
    Vandenplas, a Belgian of Flemish origin with a former career as a water polo player, has been a part of Universiade Games preparations in many different cities over the years.
    He spent a week in Naples with a delegation from FISU as well as delegations from individual federations conducting site inspections on the more than 70 sporting venues that will be involved in the 2019 World University Games.
    "We are confident. The commission is working on the most important issues, from the athletes' village to the tenders, such as that for technology. And we have provided the commission with an advisor, Epic, paid by FISU to facilitate and speed up these procedures. We are certain that things will go well, especially because the Italian National Olympic Committee CONI is offering its support to help organize. But there's no time to waste," Vandenplas said.
    The agreement with CONI Services is considered an important step forward.
    "We are happy to have CONI by our side. We are sure that they can give us a big hand, given their experience in the international field," he said.
    Vandenplas was also optimistic about the sporting facilities that need renovations prior to the Games.
    "Since Commissioner Latella has come on board, a lot has been done on the venues; there was a marked acceleration. But the challenge is in the fact that there are more than 70 venues and many of them need renovations, some of which are significant.
    During this week and in April our delegates checked the venues centimetre by centimetre and gave a basically positive evaluation. Now we just have to move forward and speed up the work, but even from this point of view we're satisfied, because we've seen that progress has been made," he said.