The scholarship deal will shift the education focus of global aquatic sports to Budapest and “contribute to the internationalisation of Hungary’s swimming and water polo,” Peter Szijjarto said after talks with World Aquatics chief Husain Al-Musallam.
Noting the body’s decision to move its headquarters to Budapest, the minister said this was “a gold medal for Hungary’s sports diplomacy”.
The foreign ministry quoted Szijjarto as saying that the World Aquatics decision “puts the relationship between Hungary and international sports in a new dimension and could give tremendous momentum to Hungary’s swimming and water polo, while attracting investment to Hungary.”
“I also want to make it clear that the Hungarian government does not consider the move as an issue of construction or infrastructure development … there will certainly be construction … but we see the world body’s move to Hungary as part of a major, comprehensive swimming and water-polo development programme,” Szijjarto said.
The minister said it was a strategic goal to build “extremely close ties not only between Hungarian higher education and the economy but between higher education and sports, too.”
International sports and Hungary’s higher education were being linked, he added.
The government is committed to maintaining Hungary as “one of the world’s strongholds” for swimming and water polo.