President Bach addresses Opening Session of the UEFA Congress in Montreux – defends solidarity and the European Sport Model

20 Apr 2021
IOC News IOC President

The IOC President, Thomas Bach, was in Montreux, Switzerland, on Tuesday for the Opening Session of the 45th UEFA Congress. He told the delegates: “The fact that you are able to hold this Congress in person, while respecting the anti-coronavirus measures, gives all of us good reason for optimism.”  

Thomas Bach

He also praised UEFA for the actions it has taken to organise major live sports events. He told the Congress: “Our organisations share the unprecedented experience of having to postpone our major events. We set the same priority of ensuring the health and safety of all participants.”

Later, he spoke of the increasing threat to the European Sport Model, particularly in the context of recent developments in European football.

“Unfortunately, we have to realise that this European Sport Model is under threat today. In fact, the very existence of the values-, solidarity- and volunteer-based model is under threat. It is challenged by a purely profit-driven approach that ignores the intrinsic values and social mission of sport.” He went on: “It is losing ground to the purely profit-oriented goals of commercial sport providers and investors. If everything is only looked at from a business perspective, if only economic rules are applied to measure the impact of sport on society, then the social mission of sport is lost.”

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