FINA Records Loss of $23.9M for 2020 Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

FINA has recorded a loss of $23.9 million for 2020, a huge deficit, but one that is following a pattern of international sports amidst the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.

According to Inside the Games, the deficit was announced just a few days after the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) revealed a loss of $15 million. It is the third consecutive deficit that FINA has announced.

The report also comes just a few days after newly elected FINA President Husain Al-Musallam took over the federation, giving him an uphill battle as he takes office.

Swimming was hit particularly hard during the pandemic with the Olympics being postponed from 2020 to 2021 in Tokyo, but also the postponement of the 2021 World Championships, which will now take place a year later in 2022, also in Japan. The International Swimming League (ISL) also is a factor with sponsor money going to an independent league not under FINA’s control.

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In a report obtained by Inside the Games, FINA treasurer Dale Neuburger said COVID-19 was going to affect the financial situation at FINA “at least until the year 2022.”

This year’s deficit saw FINA take in $66.7 million as opposed to $76.4 million in 2009.

According to the report, expenditure was also lower, at $84.2 million. Spending on development activities fell only slightly, to $7.3 million and administrative expenses were also slightly  changed — from $10 million to $9.4 million. Cash/financial asset levels remained strong at $153 million at the end of 2020.

FINA appears to be budgeting for an International Olympic Committee (IOC) contribution from Tokyo 2020 of around $42 million split between 2021 and 2022, according to the report, while the report disclosed that “in liaison with the COVID-19 situation”, the IOC granted FINA a loan of $1 million for 2020.

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