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MOSCOW, November 25. /ITAR-TASS/. The recent initiative to ban financing of sports clubs by natural monopolies and state corporations could be fatal for Russian professional sport, president of the Russian Football Union Vyacheslav Koloskov told Itar-Tass.
“This is quite a strange proposal,” he said. “It does not concern only football but sporting events as a whole. For instance, Russian skiing is sponsored by Rosneft (oil company) and this includes team competitions and professional athletes.”
Sporting events should not be financed from regional budgets intended for other purposes but this initiative, if adopted in its present form, would ruin Russian professional sports, Koloskov believes.
The present financing scheme had no alternatives so far as mechanisms successfully applied in Europe were only in embryo form in Russia, he added.
“I mean proceeds from selling rights to TV broadcasting, high prices for tickets etc. Our football clubs get chicken feed from TV and even less from spectators,” Koloskov said, adding that support of state companies and natural monopolies was currently the only opportunity for professional sports to survive.
The move has been put forward by seven members of the Russian parliament’s upper house Federation Council, among them, according to media reports, Vyacheslav Fetisov, the Soviet and Russian hockey player and trainer.
The group proposed amendments to the federal law "On Natural Monopolies" aimed at prohibiting these companies from financing sport teams and funding charities, sporting events, entertainments and similar events.