MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF), flush with cash after the national team’s phenomenal run in recent years, will forego its state subsidy for the second year in a row in 2013, secretary of state for sport Miguel Cardenal announced on Monday.
With a host of corporate sponsors including German apparel maker Adidas, energy company Iberdrola and Movistar, the mobile phone unit of telecoms operator Telefonica, the RFEF already forewent its subsidy for 2012 worth about 3 million euros, some three percent of its annual budget.
After meeting federation president Angel Maria Villar in Madrid, Cardenal said he was grateful for the gesture and that the money, some 3 to 4 million euros, would again be shared out among the rest of the nation’s sports federations.
“I have to express thanks for the generous gesture on the part of the football federation,” he said on the Spanish sports council (CSD) website (www.csd.gob.es).
“It’s a sacrifice, it’s a significant amount ... which will benefit the other federations,” he added.
Cardenal told Reuters on Friday Spain’s sports federations, already suffering due to a series of reductions in state subsidies, were facing a new round of hefty cuts forced on the government by the economic crisis.
Many of the Iberian nation’s smaller federations who find it tough to attract commercial sponsors rely heavily on public money and, with less cash available, performance and results were bound to be affected over the longer term, Cardenal said.
He was reluctant to put a figure on the size of the cuts but said some federations could lose almost all their funding, while others might see a slight increase.
Spanish media have reported the reductions will amount to at least 40 percent of the total and Cardenal said “it could be around that amount or it could be less”.
Reporting by Iain Rogers