Financial support to international federations from the International Olympic Committee in the form of loans or donations has reached $63m (€55.3m), IOC president Thomas Bach has announced.

Having unveiled the IOC’s financial aid package for international federations and National Olympic Committees two months ago in the wake of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Bach delivered an update following yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) executive board meeting.

Along with the support already given to international federations, he said that $37m has been provided to NOCs since the start of the “crisis” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to journalists, Bach also revealed that the IOC would “continue supporting the NOCs with the TOP Programme [sponsorship] allocation, which will amount to another $150m which will be payable by the end of the year”.

He continued: “This represents a great effort for the IOC and in order to be able to deliver all this support in the $800m envelope, the IOC had to ask the Olympic Foundation for its assistance. We are happy that the Foundation board decided to allocate an amount of up to $300m to assist the IOC in our efforts to support the actions of the Olympic Movement.”

The 15 international federations to have received IOC loans are: Fiba (basketball); FIG (gymnastics); FIH (hockey); Fina (swimming); IGF (golf); IJF (judo); ITF (tennis); UCI (cycling); UIPM (modern pentathlon); World Archery; World Athletics; World Rowing; World Rugby; World Sailing; and World Taekwondo.

Meanwhile, the IFSC (sport climbing), ISA (surfing), World Baseball Softball Confederation, WKF (karate) and World Skate all received donations. The quintet represents the sports added by Tokyo 2020 to the programme for the next Summer Olympics and therefore not part of the IOC’s revenue distribution from the Olympics.

Loan facilities are also being offered by the Swiss government to federations based in Switzerland to ease cash-flow issues caused by the 12-month postponement in Olympics revenues payment and the postponement or suspension of events amidst Covid-19. Switzerland’s loan programme for international federations is being covered in a 50-50 split by the IOC and the federal and cantonal authorities. The repayable aid scheme is not available to the IOC itself, Fifa or Uefa given their existing financial clout and reserves.

The Swiss loan scheme has allowed federations to receive interest-free loans of up to $500,000 (depending on the size of their turnover).

The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) said last month that it did not anticipate international federations would face bankruptcy thanks to a combination of financial support and reserves being put in place.

ASOIF executive director Andrew Ryan said that at the start of the Covid-19 crisis, ASOIF projected that the most financially exposed international federations would be those most dependent on the Olympic revenues. However, after scrutinising the federations’ accounts, ASOIF realised that the most vulnerable were those which generate significant revenues from their own events that had been postponed or cancelled as a result of the pandemic, and not those who had the greatest dependency on IOC monies.

He remarked: “When we look at the smaller federations, most have built a small operational reserve. If you find there are federations with more than 90-per-cent dependency on Olympic revenues, those federations very often have very few employees but also have a reserve of some millions of [US] dollars. This means that with minimal support, they’ve been able to guarantee that they can carry on business as usual – without dropping their investment in development – right through to the Games next year.

“But for big professional sports like tennis, volleyball, cycling and so on, they are much more vulnerable because their own events have either been postponed or even cancelled.”

Ryan said that the summer sports international federations’ average dependency on IOC revenues has dropped from around 45 per cent at the Sydney 2000 Olympics (a figure that excludes Fifa) to 30 per cent at Rio 2016 with the federations’ own commercial revenue streams on the rise.

Meanwhile, the IOC said yesterday that it has increased the total budget allocated to its subsidies for NOC participation in Tokyo 2020 from $46.7m to $57m.

The IOC said: “In addition, in June 2020, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) agreed to make available a budget of $11.65m that had been allocated to ANOC by Olympic Solidarity from the 2017-2020 plan for a specific ANOC Tokyo 2020 fund. This fund is available to all 206 NOCs to assist them in facing exceptional costs relating to athlete and NOC preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in particular, and the Covid-19 crisis in general.”

Source: Martin Ross