Hellenic Amateur Athletic Association Facing Severe Financial Problems

 Greece's flag bearer Alexandros Nikolaidis holds the national flag as he leads the contingent in the athletes parade during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium

Greece’s already troubled Olympic sports federations have suffered a new series of cuts in state funding, that puts their future in doubt.

The government’s proposals for the 2014 budget have raised concerns among the federations as they cannot afford to pay anything but basic operation costs, just 10 years on from the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), Spyros Capralos, held an emergency meeting on Friday March 14th with the presidents of several federations and the Minister of Culture and Sports, Giannis Adrianos, as well as with the General Secretary of Sports, Kyriaki Giannakidou.

The meeting lasted for five hours, and it was reported that the Greek state will grant the federations free use of state-owned venues for training and staging national competitions. Among the state’s commitments was to cover the cost of doping controls.

“While the government showed a willingness to listen to everyone, something which is very positive, in fact the situation regarding the budgets for 2014 has not changed and, yes, it would be fair to say that, at the moment, we are being asked to survive on these crumbs,” said the president of the Cycling Federation, Athanasios Terzis, after the meeting.

The Hellenic Amateur Athletic Association (SEGAS) revealed that its budget has suffered a 48 percent cut compared to 2013’s budget – and 70 percent compared to the budget in 2012.

SEGAS released an official announcement in which it said that “the Greek government made crystal clear that sports are not among its priorities.”

As a result of this situation many Greek athletes will have no other choice except to quit. Indeed, Greek rower, Stergos Papachristou, has announced that he will retire at just 28 years old, due to financial difficulties.


  1. The past decade over 430 NGOs were given 115 million euros in grants. There is no more to give away to special interests even sadly the Hellenic Olympic Committee. Corporate sponsors could help if there are still profitable corporations left in Greece. Austerity has its consequences, if we suffer humiliation then maybe the population including diaspora Greeks will wake up and take notice.

  2. don’t count on the diaspora Greeks. Many of us that have come to Greece have been treated like sh#@#
    my cousin’s grandson spit in my water and now I tell this story to all the diaspora Greeks at the Greek churches and to my surprise they have similar stories. Yep the diaspora Greeks do not care what happens in Greece.

  3. The Diaspora did not “Bankrupt” the country…The Diaspora are all those who left this country because they could not survive corruptionocracy that is still thriving in this country…The Diaspora are Greeks who do not agree with what is happening in this country…Why the Diaspora should care about Greece when the government doesn’t care about the country???

  4. Diaspora Greek (hopefully) still care about their Olympic Heritage. There are many very wealthy diaspora Greeks living overseas and many of them visit Greece for prolonged periods having not cut the all important emotional tie with the country of their parents and/or their birth.

  5. I was born in Konitsa and have lived in U.S all my life having married a group controller I have moved all over America. From St. Sophia Cathedral on pico &Normandie in LA. to St. Demetrius in Ft. Worth, to St. Demetrius in Chicago to Annunciation in Houston to St. Helen & Constantine in Milwaukee. So I have been around diaspora Greeks all my life and I can tell you with certainty than many no longer care about Greeks and Greece. Many have horror stories on how badly they have been treated by Greeks in Greece.
    The Pappas family in Houston prefer to give scholarships to Mexicans then contribute any money to the Ahepa Educational Foundation that give out scholarships to Greeks.
    as a very wealthy Greek American I no longer give to Greeks.
    good luck getting Greek Americans to contribute to the Greek Olympics.

  6. US Main Street Greeks can help but the big money will come from the Wall Street and Cyber Street Greeks. Do not discount their quasi-selfish interest to promote themselves and their businesses in the framework of the HOC. Certainly Samaras is counting on them to save his skin before and after his tenure in office.


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