International sports news and opinion site Sportsgrid portrayed Hungary’s mascot (pictured) for the 2017 World Aquatics Championships as having “no pigment” and no “soul” and says that “it [could] possibly be the ghost of a murdered Lhasa Apso”, in a piece published on Sunday.
According to Hungarian online daily 444.huʼs report, the mascot which resembles a white puli, an internationally recognized Hungarian dog breed, was first introduced to the public on July 22, when Hungarian representatives unveiled the plans to FINA for the 2017 event.
The daily quoted the entire report on the presentation originally posted on the official website of Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB). However the link to the report, which says in the address field “budapest-2017-successful-presentation-with-puli” in Hungarian leads to a page which cannot be displayed.
Reports by 444.hu and Sportsgrid suggest that the pictures of the puli mascot under criticism were posted on MOBʼs website, however, no pictures are currently available on the site.
Hungarian online daily index.hu reported late yesterday that the mascot will be named "Bol-Dog", which is a pun for the Hungarian word "happy".
Hungary was awarded the rights to host the 2017 World Aquatics Championships after Mexico’s Guadalajara pulled out due to costs that were expected to exceed $100 mln (approximately HUF 28.2 bln), which the country found too costly, Sportsgrid reported.
After it was announced that Budapest will host the event, reports suggested that the 2016 budget bill had set aside HUF 27.3 bln for developments necessary to host the championships. Later reports, however, said that hosting the event could cost Hungary HUF 49 bln, but the budget would recover about HUF 10 bln in value added taxes.