Lima joins Asunción in bid for 2027 Pan American Games. GETTY IMAGES

The capital of Peru, Lima, has formally submitted its bid to host the upcoming 2027 Pan American Games. It follows in the footsteps of Paraguay's Asunción as a potential replacement for Barranquilla, which lost its hosting rights due to breaches of contract.

Less than 10 days ago, the news reverberated across the Americas that Barranquilla had lost the right to host the 20th Pan American Games after almost two years of non-compliance, including the lack of the necessary permits and deposits totalling around US$8 million.

As the famous saying goes, "The king is dead, long live the king." This seems to be the motto of several countries in the Americas as they seek to replace Colombia as the host of the world's most important sporting event after the Olympic Games.

There seems to be little solidarity or support for Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who is using traditional diplomatic channels to try to recover the Panam Games lost due to negligence in Colombian offices. In fact, he has instructed his foreign minister and ambassadors to hold talks and try to influence each of the 41 national committees that make up Panam Sports.

Panam Sports is looking for a new venue to host the 2027 Pan American Games. GETTY IMAGES
Panam Sports is looking for a new venue to host the 2027 Pan American Games. GETTY IMAGES

Faced with this scenario, Asunción acted quickly. Within hours of Colombia's sanction, it publicly offered itself as a replacement host for Barranquilla, as if it had known in advance, without even allowing the previous organisers to make their excuses, apparently certain that there would be no turning back.

The Peruvian Olympic Committee was more cautious, taking its time to develop a strategy to persuade Panam Sports to choose Lima as the new host city, taking advantage of the existing infrastructure from the Games held in the Peruvian capital just four and a half years ago.

In this regard, the Mayor of the Metropolitan Region of Lima, Rafael López Aliaga, sent a letter to Pan Am Sports, the Pan American Sports Organisation that brings together 41 countries, supporting the initiative of the Peruvian Olympic Committee to host the Pan American Games in 2027.

In the letter, he pledged to respect the Olympic Statute, an apparent reference to Colombia, which has been heavily criticised for decisions by its president to interfere in Olympic committees, a clear violation of the IOC charter. He also promised to respect the rules of the Games and all agreements signed with the organising committee, "including but not limited to the contract with the city of Lima".

"We will make all facilities available to athletes, officials, judges, media representatives, and other participants during the Pan American Games," added the letter signed by the mayor of Lima, a city that will host the 2019 Panam Games.

The Municipality of Lima announced on the social media platform X that the mayor met on Thursday at the City Palace with Carlos Neuhaus, the head of the successful organisation of the 2019 Pan American Games. During the meeting, they discussed "the topic of the next Pan American Games in 2027, which could be hosted by the city of Lima," the post added.

COP President Renzo Manyari said this week that both the sports authorities and the national sports federations, as well as the entire national sports system, "support and look with great enthusiasm" to Lima as the host of the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2027.

In addition to the Peruvian and Paraguayan capitals, the financial capital of Brazil, the giant city of São  Paulo and Guadalajara in Mexico have also expressed interest, although they are currently more cautious than their Latin American counterparts.