Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates insisted Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk attend the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony in an exchange clumsy just hours after Queensland won the hosting rights to the 2032 Games.
Palaszczuk previously said she would not attend at the ceremony, in the face of growing concerns about his international travel.
But during At a press conference on Wednesday evening, Coates - also vice-president of the International Olympic Committee - severely berated Palaszczuk. to him.
"You are going to the opening ceremony " said Coates. “I'm still vice chair of the nominations steering group [for the 2032 bid]. As far as I know there will be an opening ceremonyand a closing ceremony in 2032, and you all got to get along there and understand the traditional parts of that, what an opening ceremony involves.
" Neither of you stays hidden in your rooms, okay? "
Palaszczuk has sought to mock Coates' comments, saying "I don't want to offend anyone ".
But Coates doubled down. "You have never been to the opening ceremony of a Olympics do you have? You don't know the protocols. I think it 's is a very important lesson for everyone here. The opening ceremonies cost in the range of $ 75-100 million - it is a major exercise for any organizing committee, it marks the Games , it is very important for the following broadcasters.
"I think it 's my very strong recommendation that the Prime Minister, Lord Mayor and Minister be here and understand it.
Palaszczuk sought to further minimize the Thursday morning incident.
"I know John for years, "she told ABC. "So what has happened now is that the mayor, the federal minister and I are supposed to leave. So I will leave that to John Coates and Thomas Bach.
"But let me be clear: I am not going to offend anyone now that we have just finished to be awarded the Games. "
Palaszczuk stated that there was no problem between her and Coates despite the press conference exchange, and stated that he had been "fantastic " in his role in bringing the 2032 Games to Queensland.
"If we hadn't had John Coates , thatwould not have happened, ”he said. "John Coates was the driving force behind us in securing the Olympics.
Palaszczuk is in Tokyo with the mayor of Brisbane , Adrian Schrinner, and Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck. The trip sparked much controversy in Australia, with Palaszczuk being one of the first ministers supporting a major reduction in travel caps that prevent Australians stranded abroad from returning home. A petition calling on the federal government to deny Palaszczuk a travel exemption has garnered 120,000 signatures.
AOC spokesperson declined to comment further when approached by Guardian Australia, claiming that Coates had been "cited precisely".
Coates est a powerful broker in the world of international sport, with the New York Times recently describing him as the second most powerful figure in the Olympic movement, behind only IOC President Thomas Bach.