An official hospitality centre for African nations during the London 2012 Olympic games has been forced to close amid allegations that suppliers have unpaid invoices totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The center, situated opposite the Royal Albert Hall, featured an exhibition area and restaurant open to the general public as well as reception area for games participants, sponsors and officials.
Called Africa Village the area was sponsored by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa and was designed according to the website "to offer the public, the National Olympic Committees and African athletes a unique opportunity to fully participate in the Olympic festivities, whatever their means." however this unique opportunity has now been cut short and many creditors could be facing a painful future if the rumours of £400k outstanding prove to be true.
It is the first time that the 53 African national Olympic Committees have joined forces to stage a combined African themed area.
The website for Africa Village simply states "Africa Village Closed Until Further Notice (Sorry)" which will be scant comfort to any suppliers that have dealt in good faith with the ANOCA.
However all may not be lost for any creditor as communications director Mr Laurent Bagnis states a meeting will be held to "solve the situation". When asked if the figure of £395,000 outstanding was correct Mr Bagnis said "We have a lot of figures. I don't know which is right at the moment."
Creditors may also find a further barrier to recovering their outstanding invoices as the headquarters for the ANOCA is situated in Nigeria.
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Image "Olympic Rings" from flickr user Shawn Carpenter is licensed under CC BY 2.0