Olympic committee calls on government to also help sport

Ljubljana, 24 March - The Slovenian Olympic Committee (OKS) has called on the government to include sport in its measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus epidemic. Noting that sport has suffered a great loss with the cancellation of competitions, it says it would be very hard to kickstart things again after the crisis without appropriate aid.

A football.
Photo: An┼że Malovrh/STA

The OKS said in an open letter to the government on Tuesday that, in addition to the broader social impact as its priority, sport also had an important economic impact.

"The Slovenian sport industry generates EUR 609 million and employs 21,900 people. Its share in the entire GDP is 1.96%, and jobs related to sport represent 2.43% of all jobs in Slovenia," adds the letter signed by OKS president Bogdan Gabrovec.

The OKS has conducted a survey among 34 sport unions and around 300 sport associations to establish that jobs of more than 470 full-time employees and of more than 2,260 regular contractors are at stake.

The OKS noted that the organisations which had participated in the survey alone were expected to record a drop in the expected revenue by almost EUR 16 million, and that the financial burden was only growing.

The organisation proposed two sets of measures - the first is special state aid for sport organisations covering the loss of revenue, wage compensations, and exemption from paying social security contributions and rents for public sport facilities.

In the second set, the OKS would like to see measures for normalising the situation in sport after the epidemic.

It expects tax exemptions for revenue from sponsorship contracts and tax breaks for sponsors, a lower tax rate for ticket sales and a lower tax rate for the purchase of sport equipment by sport associations for at least 18 months.

The OKS also proposes changes to the current taxation of sports betting which would bring more money to sport, or that a part of the tax that has already been collected from this source is injected in sport associations.

What would help the sport industry after the crisis is the police assuming the cost of security at sporting events and free medical care being provided in certain cases.

© STA, 2020