International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian-Franco Kasper has admitted there are “deep financial consequences” due to the coronavirus pandemic and warned uncertainty for the sporting industry will be a serious topic in the future.
Kasper made the comments in a message to the “ski family”, following the conclusion of the FIS World Cup season.
The Swiss official said they could “all agree that it was certainly not the way we had envisioned ending the season”.
Numerous World Cup competitions across FIS disciplines were forced to be cancelled, including the Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Cortina.
Kasper reflected that there would be serious implications for multiple organisations and the winter tourism sector due to the pandemic.
“While there are many serious implications for FIS, the member national associations, organisers and all stakeholders, as well as winter tourism, we should remain thankful that the main global impact of the coronavirus only struck the FIS competition circuits in late February,” he said.
“Fortunately we were able to manage the situation together with the organisers and national associations and get the athletes and teams back to their respective homes safely before major restrictions were imposed.
“Of course, behind every silver lining, there is a dark cloud and there are many consequences for many stakeholders that will be felt both short-term and long-term, some of which we may not yet be fully able to imagine.
“There are certainly deep financial consequences, but also the uncertainty for the sporting industry is sure to be a serious topic in the near future.
“But one thing is certain – we the ski family must stand together in the upcoming months to support one another, in order to ensure that our sport and industry gets back up to full strength as quickly as possible, to try to minimise the consequences of the coronavirus as efficiently as we can.”
Kasper added that the FIS have aimed to provide organisers, teams and other stakeholders as much support as possible.
The 76-year-old is due to stand down as FIS President in May, ending his 22-year leadership of the governing body.
A deadline of April 22 was set for candidates to be proposed to succeed Kasper in the post.
The biannual gathering of the FIS membership in 2020 is due to be held at the Royal Cliff Resort in Thailand on May 22.
“The next major event scheduled on our calendar is the FIS Congress in Royal Cliff in Thailand from May 17 to 23,” Kasper said.
“There will be no update announced before the end of March since the coronavirus developments are evolving continually.
“I have convened a council meeting conference call at the end of this month to address the situation, after which we will communicate an FIS Congress update.”
GB Snowsport announced earlier this month that the organisation will nominate Johan Eliasch for the FIS Presidency.
Kasper concluded his message by saying the organisation are preparing for the distribution of crystal globes to World Cup winners, along with assessing appropriate presentation opportunities.