Minister of science, education, and sport is yet to name his deputy in charge of sport, and the budget of the Olympic Committee is exceeding the funds provided for it in the 2016 government budget.
The Croatian Olympic team is currently at sixty-five athletes who have qualified for Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This figure is not final yet, as some thirty of them still have a chance to qualify for the Games in the next few months. On April 16 2016, we bring you the overview of the problems they are all facing at the moment, as there is quite a mess in sport management in Croatia.
Croatian Olympic Committee has announced its budget for the year 2016, with planned income of 157 million HRK, and most of the funding is, of course, supposed to come from the state budget, which should be around HRK 142 million, according to the COO plan. The first problem is that the 2016 state budget has designated just over 122 million for the funding of sport. This figure is for all the public sport needs, and the section of the budget for the Olympic Committee is still empty in official documents.
Obviously, some cuts will have to be made by the Olympic Committee, but there is yet another problem; the government has not voted the act to empower the Ministry of science, education and sport to distribute the money. That is not all, believe it or not, the Minister of science, education, and sport, Mr. Predrag Šustar, has not named his deputy in charge of sport yet.
We have written our introduction of the new minister just days after he was appointed, and it seems that he has forgotten about one third of his domain. The Olympic Committee is finding ways to fund the sport at the moment in any way possible, asking money from sponsors, and managing it as it comes, but in the Olympic year, this is turning into a hot potato, as the games are approaching and athletes need their monthly allowances in order to be able to train in best possible conditions.
Politicians are always there to congratulate athletes after their success, and are glad to be seen and photographed with them, but it seems that there is no political agenda in Croatia to sort things out in Croatian sport, and there are so many problems at the moment. This issue of funding is manageable, as Croatia is the motherland of the improvisation, but there are more problems to be addressed.
Croatian Basketball Federation has the president that is yet to be confirmed by the state administration, and that matter could go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.There are so many articles written about the problems in Croatian Football Federation, as some of the head officers of the federations are investigated for money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption. The Croatian Olympic Committee itself is in doubt, as there was the affair about the Sport Television, founded by the Committee, and the state audit has found a number of irregularities in the management of this broadcasting company.
Also, two months ago, the new changes to the Sport Act were introduced. The new minister has talked about it in a very diminishing manner, but the amendments are still in power. It means that some sports federations are managed in an unlawful way, Football Federation especially. The new government has done nothing to change this, one way or another, so we have some illegitimate sport federations in Croatia at the moment.
To end this all in lighter mode, we could be naive and expect the politicians to meet their promises made before the elections, as two ruling parties in Croatia, both HDZ, and MOST, have pledged to sort things out in Croatian sport.