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Dozens of millions in coronavirus damage expected in Slovenian sports

Ljubljana, 14 April - A discussion about the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on sports, organised on Tuesday by the Sport Lex sports law institute, highlighted an estimate that sports organisations in Slovenia will incur at least EUR 26 million in direct damage.

Portorož
The head of the Slovenian Ski Association Enzo Smrekar.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Major damage, estimated by Slovenian Ski Association president Enzo Smrekar at EUR 1.1 million, has for instance been caused by the cancellation or rescheduling of the Ski Flying World Championship that was to be held in Planica in March.

Smrekar moreover pointed to the cancelled men's Alpine Ski World Cup races in Kranjska Gora, speaking of a damage of up to EUR 700,000.

Reflecting on how to proceed, he said it was not necessary to invent new solutions, since Austria, Italy and Germany had provided good examples of how to stimulate sport.

Also participating in the videocall panel was the secretary general of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, Blaž Perko, who said a recent survey had shown the coronavirus crisis would cost Slovenian sports organisations at least EUR 26 million.

"Everybody pointed out they will have liquidity problems, while the smaller ones will also have trouble covering labour and rent costs. The summer season will be practically dead and it will not be possible to make up for the losses already suffered," Perko said.

Listing measures that could help, he mentioned a deferral of loan payments and tax cuts, as well as a state-sponsored emergency fund that would help cover cancellation costs.

While Austria has already earmarked EUR 100 million in aid to sport as a first step, "there has been no open mentioning of sports by the government here so far", Perko said.

gz/eho
© STA, 2020