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IOC president calls on govts to include sport in coronavirus recovery plans

Published : 18 May 2020, 22:19

  DF-Xinhua Report

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. File Photo Xinhua.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has asked governments to include sport in their COVID-19 recovery plans, particularly because of the economic and health benefits.

Bach joined the World Health Organization (WHO)'s "Walk the talk-: Health for all challenge" on Sunday as part of a global effort to promote ways for people to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This is why I am calling on all the national governments to include sport in their economic recovery programs, because sport can help the economic recovery. But it is also very important for the prevention of future health crises; that is why it is important that you are all playing sport," said Bach, sitting astride an exercise bike.

The IOC is also conscious of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the International Sports Federations (IFs) and has announced that it would bear costs of up to 800 million U.S. dollars for its part of the responsibilities for the organization of the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and the aid package for the Olympic movement, including the International Federations, to enable them continue their activities.

The IOC has already started discussions with International Federations on a case-by-case basis as the needs of each IF are different.

The IOC thanks the Swiss Federal Council for the offer to support the International Sports Federations jointly with the IOC.

"We are fully committed to successfully delivering this International Sports Federation support program in cooperation with the Swiss authorities. This initiative is a great acknowledgement of the importance of the International Sports Federations and sport," Bach said in a statement.