site.btaSports Minister: Youth Sport's Problems Can Only Be Solved by Increasing Funding for Clubs

Sports Minister: Youth Sport's Problems Can Only Be Solved by Increasing Funding for Clubs
Sports Minister: Youth Sport's Problems Can Only Be Solved by Increasing Funding for Clubs
Sports Minister Georgi Glouchkov (left) during an interview in Sofia, May 19, 2024 (Sports Ministry Photo)

The problems of youth sport can only be solved by increasing funding for sports clubs, caretaker Sports Minister Georgi Glouchkov told the Bulgarian National Television on Sunday.

The minister confirmed that his first priority as a Minister has been realized and funding for sports clubs has been secured. 

"When I took office as Minister of Youth and Sports, I set as a top priority the rapid provision of funding for Bulgarian sports clubs. There was a delay in the consideration of projects, which has now been overcome. The projects of 861 sports clubs in 52 types of sport for a total amount of nearly BGN 14 million have been approved under the Sports Club Development Programme as of 15 May. The projects of 48 clubs from 5 sports, which have been postponed due to gaps in documentation, are yet to be examined," he added.

At the beginning of the month, it was revealed that Bulgarian basketball players have been punished by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for violating fair play. Glouchkov, the first Bulgarian to play in the US National Basketball League (NBA), expressed confidence that the Bulgarian Basketball Federation (BBF) has taken the necessary measures. 

"Seven years ago, as BBF President, I contracted a company to monitor betting in the leading sports in Europe for a fee. For the last 4 years, Sportradar has been sending signals to FIBA, the BBF and the General Directorate National Police respectively. Following the signals submitted by Sportradar, I, as president of the federation, made contact with FIBA. BBF has appointed a person to the position of "Fairplay Officer". He is FIBA's liaison with Sportradar, BBF and the National Police. I am strongly against this kind of action by athletes. It is important to know that there is someone to watch, someone to investigate and someone to punish," Glouchkov said.

He also commented on the problems with the weightlifting federation.

"The federation is now obliged only to the State - in particular to the Sports Ministry  and the National Revenue Agency. It was a very important step to eliminate the obstacle to the participation of the athletes in Paris after we managed to repay the debt of USD 36,600 to the International Weightlifting Federation. For which I would also like to thank Asen Hristov, whose company lent a hand at this time," he explained.

The Minister also spoke about sports hooliganism.

"In the last parliament, a law on football hooliganism was introduced by Krasen Kralev and Manoil Manev. It did not have time to be adopted, but the Sports Ministry supports it and it should be immediately submitted to the new National Assembly," Glouchkov said.

The Olympic Games in Paris are just around the corner. 

"There is very little time until the Olympic Games and the preparation of our athletes is secured, after we have solved the problem of securing the funding of the three weightlifters with quotas. The funding is stipulated in the contracts with the federations, and the Olympic training programme has fixed amounts for the various items of preparation. There is still some time in which our Olympic team can increase. So far we have won 32 quota places. We have high expectations in athletics, boxing and swimming. Chances for honours are in weightlifting, wrestling, fencing, taekwondo, boxing, rhythmic gymnastics. But these are Olympic Games - anything can happen," Glushkov said.

During the interview, the topic of sports infrastructure in Bulgaria was also touched upon.  

"There has certainly been a slowdown in the last 3 years. The national programme for shared financing of sports investment projects, which was adopted at the end of 2023, is flawed and dysfunctional. Money is only given where municipalities participate, not where there is a need. Because sports clubs cannot provide 50% co-financing. Before, funds were given where they were needed and where they were deserved. And statistics show that over 100 sports facilities were built or renovated. Among them were weightlifting, boxing, wrestling, shooting, and volleyball facilities. Infrastructure was built for both professional and grassroots sport. Both large, representative facilities and those for training and mass sports were built. In the last three years this has stopped and it is very important to continue because infrastructure is the foundation of sport," the Minister stressed.

/MR/

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By 05:21 on 19.07.2024 Today`s news

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