World swim body looks to move from Olympics' home city to Hungary

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The governing body of swimming said Friday it is looking to leave the Olympics' home city in Switzerland and move its headquarters to Hungary.

World Aquatics has signed a working agreement with officials from the government in Budapest of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Budapest staged the aquatics world championships in 2017 and 2022, and it is set to host again in 2027. It also hosts offices for the governing bodies of Olympic sports judo and weightlifting.

"Hungary has repeatedly proven itself to be a wonderful host for our sport and for our athletes," World Aquatics president Husain al-Musallam said in a statement, adding the governing body "remains sincerely grateful for this."

In 2018 the world swim body, then known by its French acronym FINA, celebrated its 110th anniversary by inaugurating a new headquarters in Lausanne on a hillside road neighboring the Swiss supreme court. The 19th-century villa had been extended with modern offices.

World Aquatics noted Friday that it operates "several development centers around the world" -- including in Russia, Senegal and Thailand -- and Budapest "features dedicated aquatics training and competition facilities."

Media in Budapest reported World Aquatics aims to have people from Hungary fill half of its staff jobs there.

The swim organization was founded in 1908 in London and moved to Lausanne in 1986.