Dutch sports sector to lose €950 million due to coronavirus

The Ajax logo at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam
The Ajax logo at the Johan Cruijff Arena in AmsterdamPhoto: Michael715/DepositPhotos

The world of sport should be added to the list of industries that are heavily hindered because of the domestic and international response to the coronavirus pandemic, said Gerard Dielessen, the head of the combined Dutch Olympic Committee and Sports Federation. “The sports sector will lose 950 million euros, a huge number,” Dielessen said on NPO Radio 1during an interview Wednesday morning.

He said he is lobbying for emergency funds to keep the Netherlands sporting world running. Dielessen plans to meet with members of the Dutch Cabinet to discuss this.

The amount was determined after the organization commissioned research into the financial consequences for the sector. Most sporting events, trainings, and facilities have suspended operations until at least April 6 due to the spreading of the Coronavirus.

Dielessen also replied to the news that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had said they will not alter any of the dates of this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo. The IOC said it was hopeful that the games could go ahead as planned.

“A bold decision, when you see how the virus is spreading” said Dielessen. But as long as the Games are still on the calendar, then the Dutch Olympic Committee needs to keep pressing forward with preparations. “We will have to keep preparing for it. Same goes for the athletes of course who are also in a very difficult position."

Many sporting events have been delayed in the Netherlands as a result of the Coronavirus. This summer's Euro 2020, the European football championship played every four years, was postponed by a year. Several early round matches were to be played in Amsterdam.