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Statement on donations for sport teams – confessing the abuse of public resources

Statement of the Minister of Finances that since 2014 by today two of the largest football and basketball equips „received from the state“ around 4,7 billion of RSD, represents confession that donations were accompanied by the abuse of official post or trading with influence.

According to this statement, that was not followed by announcement of documents, state aid was awarded „directly from the budget, through ministries“ or indirectly, „through public enterprises“. Besides, assistance was awarded „through credits, providing of various guarantees and reprogram of tax duties“.

Key part of the minister’s statement is that „state provides to both equips and supports them equally, and tries to balance in the best possible way“.

State organs can, in compliance with the law, support development of sport and sport associations. Distribution of these assets should go exclusively over authorized, Ministry of Youth and Sports.

On the other hand, decisions of public and state owned enterprises of whether they will sponsor sport equips should be based exclusively on economic criteria, and by no meanson political decisions of their directors or suggestions of state managers. Likewise, decisions on awarding credits, state guarantees and reprogram of tax debts should be made equally towards all business entities. Statement of the Minister provides strong reasons for doubt that awarding of state aid to sport equips did not use the criteria and methodsthat are based on the law.

Transparency Serbia asked the Ministry of Finances to deliver following documents:

  1. Copy of calculation of donation to football and basketball equips „Crvena zvezda“ and „Partizan“, presented to journalists by  Minister of Finances Siniša Mali on 22.10.2019.

2. Copies of documents based on which calculation from point one of this request was made.