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Norway, Sweden and other ski powers want to create their own Super League. Will they take over Russia?

Date: April 20, 2024 Time: 07:59:22

Storms hit international skiing again. Several federations of leading countries have entered into open conflict with the International Ski Federation (FIS) and plan to create a separate Super League. If this happens, the world of skiing will experience a real revolution.

Or maybe there will be a place for Russia in it?

“We must act”

The fact is that Norway and seven other countries do not agree with the new rules of the International Ski Federation. They do not share the opinions of the FIS on its management practices. But mainly the national federations rebel over television and marketing rights.

While the federations unite, the athletes are in conflict:

“It was in the heat of the moment.” A Norwegian skier mocked the Swedes Northug style

The FIS wants to become the exclusive owner of the television rights to broadcast cross-country skiing, abandoning distribution between federations. That is, where Norway and other federations previously sold their rights independently, the FIS now wants to centralize the rights and sell them on behalf of all countries.

“We can invest more money in different formats if we manage the rights ourselves. We can also pay our athletes more prize money. Our best athletes earn as much in a year as Djokovic or Federer in a week; we must correct this imbalance. This is terrible,” said FIS director Johan Elias in October 2022.

Now, these are not just words. Elias wants the federations to immediately sign the agreement and leave key decisions to the FIS.

Ultimatum for the president of the FIS

However, when the idea of ​​centralization was first announced, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland created a coalition codenamed “Snowflake.” Over the course of a year and a half, they developed their own plan to combat the FIS idea, which they found unacceptable, and delivered an ultimatum to Elías. If the management does not abandon its plans, these eight countries will begin to hold the Super League outside the FIS system, with their own calendar of competitions and television broadcasts.

Snezhinka has repeatedly tried to discuss this issue with the management, but without success. After the ultimatum, the meeting was finally held.

“The objective is to reach an agreement with the FIS. This is what we are working on,” said Pernilla Bonde, general secretary of the Swedish Ski Federation. – The departure of our national federations is not the objective. The goal from the beginning was to meet with the FIS and find a solution that could be implemented jointly.”

In fact, national ski federations even agree to centralize rights, but not in the way that the FIS proposes.

“The actions of eight very important members are certainly a threat that Elías and the FIS leadership must take seriously. This is a discussion about fundamental options for the future of the FIS. Currently, snowflake countries can live without FIS better than FIS without them. Johan Elias knows this,” said NRK sports commentator Jan Petter Saldvedt.

The Norwegian expert does not believe in Bolshunov’s honesty:

“Although he is a fool, he is right.” How the Norwegians miss Bolshunov and all the Russians!

“I do not like this”

In Russia there were mixed reactions to the conflict between the FIS and the national federations. For example, the senior coach of the national cross-country skiing team, Yuri Borodavko, supports the changes.

“It is very difficult to talk here. We need to clearly understand what they want: whether it will be a commercial structure, whether these countries will have the opportunity to compete in the world championships. It’s hard to say anything with just one sign. But it is important that they are not satisfied with the FIS. It is important to know who will finance it and what competition standards they will be able to offer. This is not an easy question.

I think these countries have all this only in their plans and there is still no clear idea of ​​how everything will happen. But we must welcome everything new. “It is quite possible that this will be a new commercial project that will bring good income to the athletes and the organization itself.”

President of the Russian Snowboard Federation Denis Tikhomirov noted that this is not the first attempt to create a separate league in the world of skiing.

“First of all, judging by the countries listed, Russia is not very welcome there. Secondly, those ideas have already existed and have come to nothing. FIS is a machine. If they create such competitions, then I am all for it. In the sense that they allow strong countries to develop. A project of this type already existed, but it died; That was a long time ago, about seven years ago. And nothing happened. Now one more try. It’s always interesting to see what they are planning there.”

The Russians have their own Super League:

And they could shine on the world stage! How Russian sports stars passed the Spartakiad

And the president of the FLGR, Elena Vyalbe, was categorical:

“I don’t know anything. I don’t think anything. We work under the auspices of the FIS. I think all this is some kind of sabotage. I don’t understand what kind of idea this is. I don’t communicate with these countries. I don’t like this,” Vyalbe said .

Maybe Russia will be accepted into the Super League?

If things come to an extreme and the major skiing powers suddenly leave the FIS, this, of course, could affect the position of Russian skiers in terms of participation in world competitions.

Firstly, the FIS can become more accommodating in order to attract at least some stars to its flag, instead of holding a water pumping championship.

Secondly, the Super League is no longer the FIS. The old restrictions do not apply there, and new ones may not arise in relation to the Russians. Although to say that our skiers will be returned immediately is naive. Political difficulties, problems with obtaining documents and logistics persist. And again, if they wanted to include the Russians in a new trade project, they would have already negotiated with us. But so far, as you can understand, this is not happening.

However, for all the FIS’s difficulties in recent years, there is still no sense that a full-scale revolution in skiing is brewing.

They will split the money and reach an agreement. Everything will remain the same.

Be that as it may, the International Ski Federation will have to accept the conditions of the opponents. If countries create a separate Super League, the FIS will lose the main leaders of the competition and a significant part of the fans and spectators.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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