OE2021: Discontented sport with lack of “extra support” for training

The Portuguese sports movement was clearly defeated in the State Budget for 2021. The sector wanted to obtain more funding for training activities.

Photo: Cristina Bernardo

This Thursday, the Portuguese sports movement was unhappy with the lack of "extra support" for training in the pandemic, after a "manifest defeat" felt in the draft law that approved the State Budget (OE) for 2021.

“The entire training component is practically stopped. This is the reason why many clubs and associations no longer have normal income and are unable to fulfill obligations regarding jobs or payment of taxes ”, lamented to Lusa José Manuel Lourenço, president of the Paralympic Committee of Portugal (CPP).

In a joint statement with the Olympic Committee of Portugal (COP) and the Confederation of Sports of Portugal (CDP), which “are echoing the global concerns of the associative movement”, the CPP had already asked for “attention to the sports sector”.

“It is necessary to understand that the importance of sport goes far beyond what is sport itself. It has social and economic relevance, generates many thousands of jobs and that is what may be at stake. We had signaled some measures to help sport, but that was not the understanding of the Assembly of the Republic ”, he noted.

The three agencies submitted to the Government in October seven proposals to revise the current fiscal system of sport, considering that the preliminary version of the OE2021 proposal denoted a “devaluation of sport” vis-à-vis other social sectors.

“Sport is an active element of public health and, in this case, it seems that it is not. We do not want to have any kind of initiative that promotes the spread of the virus, but we believe that there are areas of sport, especially in training, that can be practiced safely. This opening may relieve some clubs, ”he said.

Despite having seen all the rejected proposals, José Manuel Lourenço guarantees that the horizon of Portuguese sport is "to continue to affirm the positions highlighted in recent months", in order to "try to convince the Government of the justice of these concerns".

“The problem of sport does not result from the covid-19, but it comes from behind. The pandemic has exposed the problems and chronic underfunding more clearly. However, in terms of high performance, the Olympic and Paralympic preparation program contracts have been fulfilled religiously and without interruption in the agreed payments ”, he stressed.

After the extraordinary meeting held today, COP, CPP and CDP "decided to convene a new summit of sports federations, to analyze the political situation created by the decision of the Assembly of the Republic", whose date will be communicated next week.

The State Budget for 2021 was approved today in parliament with the votes in favor of the PS and the abstention of the PCP, PEV, PAN and the two non-registered deputies.

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