Mumbai: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday announced an emergency fund of US $ 800 million to help the organising committee of the Tokyo 2020 Games and international federations involved in the Summer Olympics to tackle the financial consequences of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic which has caused the postponement of the Olympic Games by a year.
IOC president Thomas Bach said the organisation has created this “envelop of $800 million to address the financial consequence of the coronavirus pandemic”
“We anticipate we will have to bear costs of up to $800 million for our part and responsibilities towards the organisation of the postponed Games Tokyo 2020,” Bach informed a online press conference at the end of the IOC’s executive board, which met via video conference earlier in the day.
As the Games, that were to held from July 24-August 9, will now be held from July 23-August 8, 2021, it will involve extra expenditure on part of the Tokyo Olympic Games organising committee while the finances of the international federations too have taken a hit due to postponement of the Games due to global Novel Coronavirus pandemic as they will not get their share of revenues from the Olympic Games till end of 2021.
So IOC has decided to step in and share the financial burden and thus this aid will be over and above the funding that would have anyway received.
Of the $800 million, $650 million have been earmarked for the organising committee of the Tokyo Olympic Games while the remaining$150 million will be distributed to the international federations, some of which were facing severe cash flow issues and have started sacking staff to reduce expenditure.
The IOC said the break-up of the $650 million aid to the Tokyo 2020 organising committee will be decided in the next few weeks. Bach said IOC’s aid does not include any extra costs incurred by the Tokyo Games Organising Committee and the Japan government.
The IOC president also announced that the $150 million aid to the international federations is separate from the financial help offered by the Swiss government to international sports organisations headquartered in their country. He said the IOC welcomed the Swiss government’s initiative and the IOC will collaborate in this programme.
Asked whether IOC will go ahead with the Games in 2021 even if a vaccine was not found and the virus continued to remain a threat, Bach said he there is lot of time for the start of the postponed Games and therefore he would not like to look too far into future. “We are one year and two months away from the opening of these postponed Olympic Games. We should not fuel any speculation on any future development.” he said.
Bach also said the IOC EB has decided to add $15 million to scholarships and subsidies earmarked for athletes from poor countries under the Olympic Solidarity funding to fulfil their Olympic dreams.
The IOC Executive Board has also decided to conduct the 136th IOC Session, which was scheduled to be held during the Olympics and at which Bach was up for re-election, will now be held on July 17 this year via video conferencing. The move to take the IOC session online has also put on hold selection of the venue for the 2023 IOC Session for which Mumbai was expected to get the nod.
The EB also decided to meet online once every month till this pandemic situation does not get over.
Considering the coronavirus pandemic, Bach said the IOC has decided to extend the tenure of the five athlete representatives in EB till after the Olympic Games in 2021.
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