KRG allocates 12 billion dinars for sports clubs
In a press conference held in Divan Hotel in Erbil on Jan 10, Dr. Shakir Ahmad Smo, general director of Sport Directorate at the Youth and Culture, shed light on several subjects including: allocating 12 billion Iraqi Dinars for the sports clubs, allotting allowances for retired sportspeople, construction of sports city.
"This year the government has allotted 12 billion dinars for all the clubs in Kurdistan region regardless where the clubs are based. At first 30% of the money will be given then the rest will be provided step by step. The Sports Directorate has taken all the required measurements for distribution of the specified amount of money," stated Dr. Smo.
A committee has already been formed from KRG's Ministry of Finance, Sports Department at the Youths Ministry, and Kurdistan Olympic Committee (KOC) for distributing the money fairly.
Due to having biggest number of sports activities, Suleimaniya has the biggest share which is 351 billion ID. Erbil has second big share with 332 billion ID. Duhok will be given 320 billion ID while Zakho is provided with 288 billion ID and Koya with 190 Billion ID. Although Kirkuk is administratively under the Iraqi federal government, but it has 236 billion ID in the allotted money.
With most clubs suffering in administration problems and many others teetering on the brink of collapse, league officials are hoping any financial help comes as quickly as possible from the projects.
The most interesting part of the allotted money is that each team in any club has its own share in the money allotted by KRG. The money which is allocated for a basketball team in a club should not be spent for a football team in the same club.
Many clubs in Kurdistan have only focused on their football teams at the expense of the other teams. Erbil football team, for instance, spends hundreds of millions of dinars for bargain signings with footballers annually, while the club's weightlifters get their pay once in four months. The new system is expected to put an end to this injustice.
Unlike last year, the football teams in the second division and third division of Kurdistan league will also have share in the money. Last year only the senior and first division team in Kurdistan and Iraqi league benefited from the sports clubs' budget.
"We want to treat all the sports clubs and teams fairly. We even allotted some money for the women Futsal teams. Any teams that will contribute in international competitions will be financially supported. From now on if any teams travel to outside for international contributions, they should be accompanied by sports reporters and the Sports Directorate will take the responsibility for the trip costs,"
After the clubs received their budget for January and February, Dr. Smo asked them to go by the Sports Department's instructions on how to spend the money. Khanzad Chess team and Rozh club, which is a team whose members are disabled, were provided with 40 million dinars.
Decreasing the number of the clubs was another subject of the conference. Dr. Smo illustrated that a special committee has been formed for finding ways on how to reduce the clubs. "The decreasing process will be based on our instructions and we are not allowing any political and personal interference in the process. Some clubs will be dissolved while some will be merged into one," he divulged.
In the conference also, Dr. Smo disclosed the date of clubs' management board election which is going to take place during February 26-27. According to new instructions released by Sports Directorate, anyone who thinks they can run a post in the sports clubs is eligible to be elected.
Concerning the construction of sports cities in the region, Dr. Smo noted “We are going to prepare a design for the project and we will study the costs of the projects”. The prime minister also promised to dedicate lands for the projects.