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Austrian Judo Federation aims to give back World Championships to IJF

23 May 2019 10:55

 by Reinhold Pühringer of OÖNachrichten    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Austria will propose to give back the World Championships organization in 2021 to the IJF. The Austrian Judo Federation successfully won the bid for the World Championships, but with all the help of Austrian Sports Minister Heinz-Christian Strache, who resigned from his position this week after a corruption scandal in Austria which brought the government down.

Austrian Judo Federation (OEJV) President Hans-Paul Kutschera proposed immediately to the board of the OEJV to give back the organisation of the worlds in 2021. The costs of the organisation is 12 million euro for which 6 million for the IJF. However without the guaranteed support of the government it will turn into a dramatic situation for Austrian judo instead of a highlight.

The problem though for the Austrian Federation is the two of the six million ‘public money’ already given out to the IJF as event fee. Giving back is both a moral problem for the IJF to either give back, or keep the money. For the Austrian Federation a problem as the pressure will be high to get back the fee from the IJF as Austria lost its faith in reputation of the government.

Heinz-Christian Strache confirmed in Baku

In his role as Minister of Sport, Strache traveled to the worlds in Baku last September to bring the 2021 tournament to Austria. It was essential sign for the IJF that the government stood behind the bid.

It was agreed that three more millions should come from the sports ministry says Kutschera, but this second contract was not yet signed. On Wednesday Juliane Bogner-Strauß took over the political sports agenda.

For the first time since 1984 the Austrian were able to organise the World Championships. Austria was a huge judo nation in the mid-eighties with Olympic Champion Peter Seisenbacher as its frontrunner, but also with strong women and in 1984 the women’s worlds were held in Vienna.

The Strache exit is not the only financial risk for the organizers. Previously, the city of Vienna was involved in its participation - around two million euros - across. "They totally blocked," says Kutschera who is also Vice President of the European Judo Union.

Dramatic development

The association wanted to fill this gap with additional sponsors. Whether the World Championships can be returned at all in the hands of the IJF. "I will explore that," promised Kutschera, who is therefore looking for talks with IJF President Marius Vizer. If the IJF will keep the agreed two Million entry fee or a part of it, the dramatic development is even worse for the Austrian Judo Federation. Last year the Federation celebrated its 70th anniversary with a gala in Vienna where IJF President was among the main guests.

Read the original digital German version of OÖNachrichten here. (login first)

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