CPI Property Group, one of the sponsors of the Czech Olympic Committee (ČOV), decided on Monday to end cooperation with the committee. As the reason, he cites the permission to participate of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, which are to be held next year. The decision to allow these athletes to participate in the Games under a neutral flag came from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) late last week.
The Olympic Committee therefore has to solve the question of how the other partners it needs for financing will approach the matter. Most of them still want to negotiate with the committee, but for now they are not canceling their partnership and above all appreciate how dismissive the WWTP is already towards Russia and Belarus.
“As soon as we receive official communication, we will solve everything according to the contractual conditions. At the same time, we are very grateful for the support of all partners who stand behind the Czech Olympians and sports even in difficult situations, such as the covid pandemic or the current one,” the committee stated on its website about the decision.
The CPI PG also called on other partners to boycott, but they are more cautious. They draw attention to the fact that the position of the WWTP towards the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes is critical, and therefore it makes no sense to turn against it, but rather to continue discussing the situation. In addition, the Czech Republic does not have a representative in the IOC, so it could not directly influence the decision.
General partners of the Olympic Committee include ČEZ, Sazka, Fosfa and Toyota. The official partners are T-Mobile, Pilsner Urquell, Alpine Pro and VINCI Construction. Most of them said they still wanted to discuss the issue.
We are terminating our partnership with the Czech Olympic Committee with immediate effect. We do not want to be associated with the Olympic movement, which capitulated to the Russian and Belarusian regime.
— CPI Property Group (@CPIPG_SA) December 11, 2023
Plzeňský Prazdroj told SZ Byznys that following the IOC’s decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Games, it will resolve the situation and the form of its partnership with the Czech Olympic Committee.
“The basic philosophy of brewing is human belonging and togetherness. These are values we fully believe in. That is why we do not agree with the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in the Summer Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 for a long time, which we have already communicated publicly,” Zdeněk Kovář, press spokesman for the brewery, told the editors.
According to ČEZ press spokesman Ladislav Kříž, ČEZ’s effort is to support athletes, but international and national Olympic committees decide on the participation of athletes from individual countries. He does not want to call on athletes not to participate in the Olympics.
“It is, of course, to be considered whether Czech officials should resign from the IOC structures in protest against Russia’s actions,” added Kříž.
“We are still ready to support Czech athletes and Czech amateur sports. However, we still insist on our original position that the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes is unacceptable for T-Mobile. We support the statement of the WWTP, which was in the same spirit, however, we will discuss with them the possibilities of how to express our disapproval towards the IOC,” T-Mobile spokeswoman Patricie Šedivá told Nauzal.
The idea is to support Czech athletes
The company SAZKA is also against the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes, which still wants to negotiate with the WWTP regarding the IOC’s decision and then consider further steps. According to her, however, they should not turn against Czech athletes.
“For us, the purpose of the partnership with the Czech Olympic Committee is to support Czech athletes who represent our country at international competitions,” Pavla Hobíková, manager of SAZKA’s external communications, told SZ Byznys.
VINCI Construction also has a similar attitude. It is based on the fact that the WWTP also does not agree with the participation of these athletes and has taken a number of active steps in the matter.
“We believe that the WWTP will continue to defend the Olympic principles. For the VINCI Construction CS group, the Olympic partnership mainly means supporting the Olympics for children and youth. We consider the movement and sport of the youngest generation to be one of the basic prerequisites for the healthy development of our society, which is why the connection with the ODM and the Czech Olympic Committee makes sense to us,” says company spokesperson Iveta Štočková.
Another of Toyota’s general partners also plans to support the Czech Olympians. According to spokeswoman Jitka Jechová, she fully agrees with the position of the WWTP, which unequivocally rejects the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the upcoming Olympic Games.
We perceive the decision of the IOC, which allowed the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Olympic Games in Paris, as a black day for Olympic circles and a tarnishing of the values of the basic Olympic idea.
According to Václav Hrbek, CEO of Alpine Pro, the IOC’s decision is a dark day for the Olympic circles, as they fundamentally disagree with the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Summer Olympics in Paris. The company is said to have hoped that the IOC would not succumb to political pressure and maintain a clean slate.
“Therefore, we believe that, together with us and other partners, not only the WWTP, but the Olympic committees of most states will create fundamental pressure on the IOC, because that is the only possible way – the joint one. The start of Russian and Belarusian athletes under a neutral flag is no solution, it is an unacceptable maneuver by the IOC and it needs to be dealt with that way,” adds Hrbek.