The German Bundestag passed Thursday “bridging aids” for professional sports worth more than 200 million euros. Funds from this aid program are made available in particular to clubs in the team sports of basketball, handball, volleyball and ice hockey. The clubs of the women’s soccer Bundesliga and the third men’s league also benefit, as they also suffered essential damage due to the loss of audience revenue. Only sports clubs and companies from the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga in men’s football are explicitly excluded.
“We are extremely pleased that the federal government is also providing extensive support for professional sport in an unprecedented aid package. We would like to thank the German Bundestag, the federal ministries involved, in particular the interior ministry responsible for sports, the budget committee and, in particular, the members of the sports committee for their great commitment to sports. We also see these bridging aids as recognition of our social importance as a sport and we appreciate it. ”, said Andreas Michelmann, spokesman for Teamsport Deutschland and President of the German Handball Federation.
The bridging aids are essential for professional team sport. The team sports reacted quickly, decisively and responsibly in mid-March and stopped or interrupted the competition (e.g. basketball, soccer). However, it quickly became apparent that, particularly in the case of sports heavily funded by the spectators, without ongoing competition operations and with the uncertainty as to when this can be resumed, the sports landscape is in some existential need. The crisis will only hit team sport with full force – if competition with spectators should not be possible from September.
Andreas Michelmann continues: “For this reason, as a team sport in Germany, we tried to talk to politicians early on, also with the support of our Parliamentary Advisory Board. As an association of the leading professional associations, we represent our sports and work in close cooperation with our leagues and the DOSB for team sports. Team sport in particular is a beacon of our society. Professional sport and the leagues are an elementary building block for the promotion of sports as a whole, the youth sport and of course in the top of our national teams. “
The member associations of Teamsport Germany are currently working on further re-entry concepts in order to be able to start the competition again with spectators in autumn. This will be one of the fundamental tasks in the next few weeks and another important step to alleviate the consequences of the crisis for sport. We are in close contact with the leagues and the DOSB.