The FIE, fencing's governing body, has unveiled a Covid-19 support plan to the tune of SFr1 million ($1.06 million) to aid members, event organisers, athletes and referees through the health crisis.
The funding, initiated by FIE president Alisher Usmanov, will supplement the FIE annual aid programmes.
The support plans comprises:
- for member federations and confederations - an exceptional allocation to each fencing federation and confederation and cancellation of the 2020 annual FIE membership;
- for competition organisers - cancellation of payment of all organising fees for the 2020-2021 competition season, and for organising fees since January 2020;
- for athletes’ participation - a financial grant providing for participation of one fencer per federation, originally allocated for the 2020 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships (which were cancelled), is now reallocated to the 2021 Junior Zonal Championships; and
- for referees - an exceptional allocation for referees who were nominated for the 2019-2020 competition season.
Usmanov said: “Our world is challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic, with tremendous health, economic, physical and psychological consequences. Fencers and federations have been forced to abruptly cease all activities. In the spirit of solidarity and unity, and to help our global fencing family overcome this difficult period, we have decided on an unprecedented 2020 support plan of 1 million Swiss francs.
“Throughout its long and glorious history as one of the original Olympic sports, fencing has endured and overcome difficult obstacles. Rest assured the FIE is working tirelessly to protect our athletes and entire organisation to ensure future competitions safely take place. As fencers, we face the future together, our heads up and our masks on.”