POC to seek private sector help in crucial ‘gap months’ as IOC sets aside $150 million for NOCs
Help is on the way for national Olympic committees (NOCs) whose finances have been hit by the additional year of preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. But with guidelines of that aid still unclear, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is hoping the private sector will pitch in, especially in the crucial last five months of this year.
“There’s a gap financially that we have to fill and I’m going to ask the private sector to help out,” said Tolentino, who is also a congressman representing Cavite’s eighth district.
Several NOCs will need to readjust their finances to accommodate additional costs created by the postponed Olympic Games. Tokyo organizers moved the quadrennial meet to July next year due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The POC has mapped out a financial blueprint until July this year, which was when the Olympics was supposed to start. It also has the period from January 2021 until the start of the Olympics covered.
August to December
“The government will help out with that,” Tolentino said.
But the gap from August to December this year is where the POC’s funds may run short.
“That’s the only gap we have to fill,” he said.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set aside $150 million to help international federations and NOCs cope with the delay of the Olympics. The money is part of the $800 million it has set aside as for loans and payments arising from the pandemic that forced the Olympics’ postponement.
“We anticipate we will have to bear costs of up to $800 million for our part and responsibilities in the organization of the postponed Games Tokyo 2020,” IOC president Thomas Bach told a conference call after the IOC’s executive board meeting.
International federations rely on the Olympic Games contribution every four years, and with a ban on sports competitions worldwide all of their major sources of revenue have dried up in recent months.
Tolentino said any help from the IOC would be immense, but with no guidelines yet released as to how the fund will work, the POC wants to make sure it can source its own cash for the Olympic drive.
“There are no guidelines yet about that help from the IOC,” Tolentino said. “Will it be used solely for our Olympic participation? Nevertheless, it would be a big help.”
Bach declined to speculate on a possible new delay to the Games if the coronavirus is still a major concern next year. More than 90 vaccines are currently being developed globally, with eight in the clinical trial phase. —WITH A REPORT FROM THE WIRES
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