Cash-strapped Hong Kong swimming chiefs have asked world governing body FINA to scrap a US$500,000 debt for hosting the World Short-Course Championships last April. The Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association (HKASA) has sent a letter to FINA explaining its desperate financial plight. Apart from a $1.8 million deficit generated from hosting the worlds, the association still owes FINA a bidding fee of US$500,000, which they have been unable to settle. A HKASA official said the association hoped FINA would waive the fee or allow it to be paid in a number of instalments over the next few years. 'We hope they understand that we've tried our best to put up a good show but the fact is that we're in deep financial trouble as we also have a deficit from hosting the worlds,' said HKASA deputy honorary secretary Alan Shum Kar-lun. 'We'll also see if we can break it down into several instalments as we aren't able to pay it all at once. It would put our association into extreme deficit,' he said. The Hong Kong Coliseum had provided a venue where world champions including Grant Hackett and Ian Thorpe of Australia set records but the three-day event left behind a tremendous financial burden. Shum said: 'We will be able to generate more income in the years ahead by organising more coaching courses for our members.' Meanwhile, Hong Kong will stage the World Cup Short-Course meet from January 8-9 without a title sponsor for the second year as Hong Kong is still recovering from the economic downturn. The scale of the meet will be relatively small as most nations are concentrating their efforts on the Sydney Olympics.