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Lausanne (Switzerland) (AFP) – Partial unemployment, bleeding in reserves, bank loans or requesting assistance from the International Olympic Committee: International sporting federations, prospering to date, are suffering from suspension or cancellation of competitions due to the outbreak of the newly created Corona virus, which has denied them revenue Huge.
With 2,200 employees and more than one billion francs ($ 1.02 billion) pumped annually into the economy, Switzerland counts on international sports federations where the International Olympic Committee and more than 40 federations are based in and around Lausanne, not to mention the FIFA and its employees The 600 in Zurich.
The suspension or cancellation of major sporting events and the evaporation of their revenues, mainly from sponsorship and television broadcasting rights, can only have dire financial consequences for the federations that organize them.
And if the 600 IOC employees are pursuing their activities by working remotely, “this cannot be withdrawn on the staff of the Olympic Museum, which is closed until June 8,” according to the committee. This means that about 40 employees (reception and restaurant) entered into “partial unemployment” up to the same date.
“In view of the decrease in activity observed in 2020, Swiss employees entered part-time unemployment for a period of three months, and it may be extended if the need arises,” explains the head of the French International Rowing Union, Jean-Christophe Rolland.
“An unprecedented crisis” –
The International Basketball Federation has put a “minority of collaborators in underemployment since the beginning of April”, meaning “dozens of jobs in jobs directly affected by the suspension of competitions.” The measure was similar in the International Arch and Crossbow.
A major international federation, which preferred to remain anonymous, put “all its employees in partial unemployment” for six months.
At the beginning of April, the UCI approached an “unprecedented crisis”, and announced a massive savings plan and the resort to technical unemployment in various proportions for the “entire 130 employees”.
“Because of the postponement or cancellation of competitions, many federations have shrunk, at least for 2020 and early 2021,” explained Andrew Ryan, general manager of the International Federation of Summer Sports Confederation.
“You benefit from the massive unemployment measures provided by Switzerland or its equivalent for residents of other countries,” similar to the International Sailing Federation, based in London.
Some unions are running out of reserves, reducing the salaries of their managers and resorting to bank loans guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation. Roland notes that the International Rowing Union “will borrow to keep a little cash.”
Many need aid from the International Olympic Committee during the Olympics year, which had already been budgeted for.
Aid amounting to $ 520 million in the Rio 2016 games, distributed among 28 Summer Olympics Federations, according to its audience and importance, ranging from $ 7 million to small federations (Modern Five, Rugby …), and $ 40 million to the big (athletics, swimming and gymnastics) .
“If we want to secure the same level of service for athletes and teams as we prepare for the games, we will need a prepayment,” Roland asserts.
The International Basketball Association “FIBA” refers to “regular discussions with the International Olympic Committee on all issues related to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics” from 2020 to the summer of 2021, and the contribution of the International Olympic Committee financially “it is evident that they are within it.”
In turn, the International Swimming Federation will address this issue with the ICRC on Monday.
The ICRC, which also has to face the extra costs of delaying the 2020 Olympics until next year but has a billion-dollar reserve, sees it as “aware of the impact” of the pandemic on federations and points to “already starting discussions” with it “on a case-by-case basis”.
Ryan affirms that “the majority of federations are discussing with the International Olympic,” noting that “requests for advances range from zero to a few million dollars, according to their liquidity and reserves.”
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