By Paul Osborne
The International World Games Association (IWGA) will announce the host of the 2021 World Games tomorrow, with Birmingham, Alabama widely seen as the favourite in a three-horse race.
The US city, along with Peruvian capital Lima and Russian city Ufa, will present to the IWGA Executive Board at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne today before the Board makes the final decision, ahead of tomorrow's announcement.
The Evaluation Commission for the three bid cities was headed by vice-president Max Bishop, with his six cohorts on the Executive Board, President José Perurena López, Treasurer Lukas Hinder, chief executive Joachim Gossow, and members Anna Arzhanova, Tom Dielen and Fumio Morooka, joining him to select the winner.
This decision will then be formally ratified by the IWGA Annual General Meeting in April.
With the announcement less a day away, Birmingham, home to IWGA Honorary President Ron Froehlich, whose 22 year as the body's President ended last year, is considered the favourite to win the vote.
The city is seeking to bring the Games back to North America for the first time since the inaugural edition in 1981, held in Santa Clara, California.
Lima, on the other hand, will be hoping to add to their increasing sporting portfolio with the Peruvian capital currently organising the 2019 Pan and Para Pan American Games, as well as the 2017 International Olympic Committee Session at which the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic host will be chosen.
Organisation of the former event hit crisis point earlier this month following corruption allegations aimed at the Peruvian Olympic Committee (COP), as well as delays with preparations.
COP President José Quiñones, who is a leading figure in Lima's bid for the 2021 World Games, even offered to resign from his post, with the situation expected to be resolved at an Extraordinary General Assembly of COP on Friday (January 23).
Quiñones will, therefore, be hoping to bring the World Games back to his country, and to make a triumphant return ahead of the crucial meeting.
Meanwhile, if Ufa, the capital of Republic of Bashkortostan 1,360 kilometres to the south-east of Moscow, is successful, it will mark an extension of Russia's "Decade of Sport".
This will include many major different competitions, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, as well as past events such as last year's Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi.
Ahead of today's selection of the host city, concerns have been raised about the democratic process involved in choosing a host.
The Executive Board, a body consisting of the seven aforementioned figures, holds the overall power to select a host city and concerns have been expressed about the lack of input Member Federations allegedly have had to inspect the candidates.
This process, insidethegames understands, will be challenged at the next IWGA General Assembly in Sochi, held during the Sport Accord Convention in April.
The World Games - under the patronage of the IOC - is a quadrennial and multidisciplinary sports event, which showcase more than 25 sports which are not part of the Olympic Movement, such as acrobatic gymnastics, squash, tug of war, sumo and roller sports.
The next edition of the World Games are taking place in Wrocław, Poland from July 20 to 30, 2017.
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December 2014: Wrocław moves dates of 2017 World Games to avoid clash with World Athletics Championships
August 2014: Three cities bidding to host 2021 World Games
April 2014: Perurena elected President of International World Games Association
January 2014: IWGA opens bidding process for 2021 World Games