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Caixa Econômica Bank Cuts up to 20% of Funds for Athletics and Paralympic Sports

03/31/2017 - 12h17

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PAULO ROBERTO CONDE
FROM SÃO PAULO

One of the main sponsors of Brazilian Olympic sports, Caixa Econômica Federal, the second largest government-owned financial institution in Brazil, will reduce its transfers to confederations in the coming Olympic cycle ending in 2020.

Of all the state-owned companies that support Olympic sports in Brazil, only Caixa Econômica Federal and Petrobras have not announced their investment programs for the next years. However, Folha verified that Caixa has already told the agencies about the budget cuts.

None of the new contracts has been signed yet and small changes could be made. The Brazilian Confederation of Athletics (CBAt), whose main sponsor is Caixa Econômica, will see a 10% decline in the funds it will receive before the Olympic Games in Tokyo in comparison with what it received between 2013 and 2016.

In the campaign for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, the CBAt received R$ 90 million (US$ 28 million) from Caixa Econômica, which has sponsored the confederation for 16 years. Athletics is likely to suffer setbacks this season. The amount to be transferred to CBAt this year will be reduced by R$ 3 million (US$ 947,000) in comparison with 2016 - from some R$ 16 million to R$ 13 million.

The CBAt received support from Caixa during four Olympic cycles. In the period, Brazilian athletics won two bronze medals and two gold medals. In the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, only Thiago Braz won a medal for Brazil - he took gold in the pole vaulting competition.

As the funds from Caixa have taken longer to be transferred, the CBAt has already reduced its staff.

The Brazilian Paralympic Committee was the Brazilian sports agency that received the most resources from Caixa Econômica in recent years. However, not even the status of the country's national team avoided the cut. Of the R$ 120 million (US$ 39 million) received in the previous cycle, the committee will now receive R$ 95 million (US$ 30 million) for 2020 - a decline of R$ 25 million, or approximately 21%. In the case of the committee, the reduction in the total amount paid is mitigated by the increase in the percentage collected through the Piva Law, which gives sports part of the amount obtained with federal lotteries.

Brazil finished its participation in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games with 72 medals of which 14 were gold, and in eighth position in the total number of podiums.

In the Rio Olympics, Brazilian gymnastics had its second best performance in history, with two silver medals and one bronze medal - all won in men's categories.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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