Serbian Rowing Federation suspended over financial debts. WORLD ROWING

The Executive Committee of World Rowing has suspended the Serbian Rowing Federation for financial debts. Among other consequences, it will not be able to register athletes for international rowing events, including the Paris Olympics.

The Executive Committee of the World Rowing Federation, following its meeting on Thursday, 14 December 2023, has decided to suspend the Serbian Rowing Federation as a member of the International Rowing Federation as of 1 January 2024. The decision was taken in response to significant financial debts in accordance with Article 15 of the Statutes. 

World Rowing has been in close contact with the Serbian Rowing Federation and various Serbian authorities for months in an attempt to find solutions to the outstanding debts. 

This drastic decision has been taken due to the significant outstanding financial obligations of the Serbian Rowing Federation and relevant Serbian authorities, acting as guarantors for the 2022 Rowing World Cup I and the 2023 Rowing World Championships, which were held in Belgrade last September. The unfulfilled obligations are primarily to the World Rowing and various event suppliers. 

As stated in the Federation Charter, which is incorporated into the statutes of the World Rowing, Article 15 says: "Member Federations with overdue subscriptions or unpaid debts to the International Rowing Federation or to an Organising Committee of an International Rowing Federation event may be suspended by the Executive Committee or expelled by the Congress".

"In any case, no member of this federation will be allowed to stand for election, its delegates will lose their voting rights, and the Executive Committee may prohibit or suspend teams, officials, referees, and members of the federation's commission from participating in competitions events and other events of World Rowing," it added. 

This suspension means that the Serbian Rowing Federation cannot participate in the governance of rowing in Serbia and internationally and will not be able to register athletes for International Rowing Federation events and the Olympic/Paralympic Games.

Athletes could end up paying for the mistakes of their leaders. WORLD ROWING
Athletes could end up paying for the mistakes of their leaders. WORLD ROWING

Another restriction imposed on the suspended federation is the inability to host future International Rowing Federation events. 

The Executive Committee of the International Rowing Federation is the body that can lift the suspension if the outstanding payments are made. Once the cause of the suspension is resolved, the committee will will meet to address the situation and reinstate the Serbian Rowing Federation. 

World Rowing, formerly known as FISA (from the French, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron), is the global governing body for the sport of rowing, empowered by its 156-member National Rowing Federations.