FINA Among International Federations That Have Received COVID-19 ‘Hardship’ Loans From IOC Funding Package

Olympic funding is seeking to keep the lights on for sports facing hard times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdown - Photo Courtesy: Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today Sports Images

FINA, the international swimming and aquatics federation, is among Olympic sports bodies that have received a loan from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help tide it over  the “unprecedented challenge” of the COVID-19 pandemic and “financial hardship due to the cancellation of sports events”.

In an IOC funding statement today, Olympic bosses published the names of the federations that have received loans and others that have received donations to help them through a 2020 season in which every major sports event, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, has been wiped out, either through postponement or cancellation.

A statement from the Executive Board of the IOC does not provide any details of the amounts of loans and donations granted to each organisation in turn nor does it set out the specifics of what the loans and donations are for.

In between Olympic Games and the large sums of money that FINA receives from Olympic broadcast rights, the international swimming federation generates most of its income around its events, from broadcast rights, marketing and partnership agreements and the subsidies provided by the countries and cities that host aquatic championships, cups and series in swimming, diving, water polo, open water and synchronised swimming. High Diving is also in the FINA stable but is not an Olympic sport.

IOC bosses note that the Olympic Movement has provided US$100 million in support for international Federations and National Olympic Committees since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of previously announced funding, and intends to provide a further $150m but the end of the year.

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Thomas Bach, IOC president – Photo Courtesy: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

IOC President Thomas Bach noted:

“The Olympic Movement is facing an unprecedented challenge. The IOC has to organise postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis. This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility. We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. This situation requires every one of us to do our part, and this applies to all of us, including the IOC. We are glad to be able to help with our support programmes.”

In its IOC funding statement, the Executive Board adds: “The IFs are facing financial hardship due to the cancellation of sports events and the impact on the sporting calendar of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 being held in 2021. Due to the urgency of the situation, payments to IFs started in June 2020, and the programme is still continuing. The IOC’s support comes in different forms, and is decided after an assessment of needs and on a case-by-case basis.”

The Recipients of Extra IOC Funding

The IOC funding statement identifies the type of support it has given to different organisations as follows:

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Photo Courtesy: FINA

International Federations that have received a loan from the IOC (in alphabetical order)

  • International Basketball Federation, International Golf Federation, International Gymnastics Federation, International Hockey Federation, International Judo Federation, International Modern Pentathlon Union, International Swimming Federation, International Tennis Federation, Union Cycliste Internationale, World Archery, World Athletics, World Rowing, World Rugby, World Sailing, World Taekwondo

International Federations that have received a donation from the IOC (in alphabetical order; these Federations do not participate in the revenue distribution from the Olympic Games)

  • International Federation of Sport Climbing, International Surfing Association, World Baseball Softball Confederation, World Karate Federation,World Skate

Describing the reason for the IOC funding support, the statement notes:

“To meet the specific needs relating to NOC costs incurred due to the postponement of Tokyo 2020, Olympic Solidarity has increased the total budget allocated to the IOC subsidies for NOC participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 from USD 46.7 million to USD 57 million.

“In addition, in June 2020, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) agreed to make available a budget of USD 11.65 million 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. It will be distributed to the NOCs by the NOC Continental Associations under the coordination of Olympic Solidarity, to avoid duplication of existing programmes and subsidies and to take into consideration continental specificities.

“In relation to the Recognised Organisations, the IOC is conducting ongoing discussions with them to better understand the impact of the Olympic Games’ postponement and COVID-19 to ensure their continued funding.”

Swimming World has requested details of the loan granted to FINA and what projects the funds will be put towards. We will publish any response we receive.

The IOC Funding Statement In Full

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already supported the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) with more than USD 100 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.

To date and as needed, USD 63 million have been allocated to IFs and USD 37 million to NOCs.

In addition, it has been confirmed today by the IOC Executive Board (EB) that the IOC will continue supporting the NOCs with the TOP Programme allocation amounting to USD 150 million payable by end of this year. Furthermore, the IOC is committed to ensuring funding for the IOC-Recognised Organisations.

The IOC, as the leader of the Olympic Movement, is playing a critical role in supporting its stakeholders during the COVID-19 outbreak. The organisation has swiftly delivered on its commitment to allocate an aid package programme for the Olympic Movement.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The Olympic Movement is facing an unprecedented challenge. The IOC has to organise postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis. This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility. We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. This situation requires every one of us to do our part, and this applies to all of us, including the IOC. We are glad to be able to help with our support programmes.”

The IFs are facing financial hardship due to the cancellation of sports events and the impact on the sporting calendar of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 being held in 2021. Due to the urgency of the situation, payments to IFs started in June 2020, and the programme is still continuing. The IOC’s support comes in different forms, and is decided after an assessment of needs and on a case-by-case basis.

International Federations that have received a loan from the IOC (in alphabetical order)

  • International Basketball Federation, International Golf Federation, International Gymnastics Federation, International Hockey Federation, International Judo Federation, International Modern Pentathlon Union, International Swimming Federation, International Tennis Federation, Union Cycliste Internationale, World Archery, World Athletics, World Rowing, World Rugby, World Sailing, World Taekwondo

International Federations that have received a donation from the IOC (in alphabetical order; these Federations do not participate in the revenue distribution from the Olympic Games)

  • International Federation of Sport Climbing, International Surfing Association, World Baseball Softball Confederation, World Karate Federation,World Skate

Additionally, IFs based in Switzerland can benefit from the financial support of the Swiss government under the Federal COVID-19 F1 and F2 credit programmes, provided they meet the relevant criteria.

The NOCs are also experiencing a significant financial impact from the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the COVID-19 outbreak.

All NOCs have incurred additional costs. Like most organisations across the world, NOCs are facing uncertainty relating to their long-term planning and cash flow due to the disruption in existing business arrangements with national sponsors and the diversion of government funding away from sport. This has resulted in many uncertainties relating to the NOCs’ capacity to fulfil their responsibilities towards their athletes, coaches and national stakeholders.

As a trusted long-term partner of the 206 NOCs, Olympic Solidarity has been responsive to this new global environment and adapted its programmes and working methods where needed, and within the budgets available. Following consultation with the Olympic Solidarity Commission, the following actions have been taken, and these were communicated already in mid-April:

All the 2017-2020 programmes and budgets with a direct link to Olympic Games preparation and participation will be extended to the Olympic Games in 2021. This includes:

– Tokyo 2020 Olympic scholarships for athletes

Support for more than 1,600 athletes currently benefiting from a Tokyo 2020 Olympic scholarship will continue without interruption until August 2021 for a total cost of USD 15 million, subject to the programme guidelines.

– Team support grants

Additional support can be requested for teams currently benefiting from this programme who have qualified or can still qualify for the Games in Tokyo through participation in specific competitions.

– Refugee athlete support

Support to refugee athlete scholarship-holders will continue without interruption until August 2021, in accordance with the programme guidelines.

– IOC subsidies for NOC participation in the Olympic Games

To meet the specific needs relating to NOC costs incurred due to the postponement of Tokyo 2020, Olympic Solidarity has increased the total budget allocated to the IOC subsidies for NOC participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 from USD 46.7 million to USD 57 million.

In addition, in June 2020, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) agreed to make available a budget of USD 11.65 million 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. It will be distributed to the NOCs by the NOC Continental Associations under the coordination of Olympic Solidarity, to avoid duplication of existing programmes and subsidies and to take into consideration continental specificities.

In relation to the Recognised Organisations, the IOC is conducting ongoing discussions with them to better understand the impact of the Olympic Games’ postponement and COVID-19 to ensure their continued funding.

On 14 May, the IOC EB had approved a substantial financial plan, including an envelope of USD 150 million for IFs and NOCs to help them overcome the significant financial challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This funding is intended to help them continue their mission to develop their sports, prepare for the Olympic Games and support their athletes.

In order to be able to deliver all this support, the IOC had to ask the Olympic Foundation for its assistance. The Foundation Board decided to allocate an amount of up to USD 300 million to assist the IOC in its efforts to support the actions of the Olympic Movement.

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