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LGBT sporting event OutGames cancelled hours before opening ceremony

2017-05-27
An LGBT+ sporting event has been cancelled amid controversy over fraud allegations. The 2017 World OutGames were set to begin in Miami this weekend, but on Friday (May 26) most of the events were cancelled. "It is with deep regret that due to financial burdens, World OutGames must cancel opening and closing ceremonies and sports programming with the exception of aquatics, country western dance, and soccer," the Games announced in a statement yesterday. "The Human Rights Conference and cultural programs will continue as planned. We thank everyone who has supported the effort and apologize to those who will be impacted by this difficult decision." The 10-day event was due to showcase the sporting success of LGBT+ athletes. However, the decision has left athletes disappointed and out of pocket. The city of Miami is also down at least $200,000 in advertising costs, reports the Miami New Times. Attendees were understandably angry at the cancellation. François Dallaire tweeted that the OutGames  "just got cancelled in front of me. People from everywhere around the globe are pissed about that awful organization!" Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said that the event organisers were given multiple discounts in order to make sure the Games went ahead. "In our effort to do everything possible to support World OutGames, the City has reduced deposits and extended deadlines, multiple times," Morales wrote in a statement. "In fact, with events set to begin tomorrow, the City has yet to receive the required $5,000 special event deposit and several other key permitting components have not been met." The paper also reports that Miami Beach Police and the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office an investigation into World OutGames over accusations of fraud. City Spokesperson Melissa Berthier said: "Due to the potential misappropriation of funds, the Miami Beach Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office have conferred and are jointly opening a fraud investigation." More stories: Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron met and people can’t handle it Exclusive: Gay GCHQ analyst reveals the reality of life as a British spy