The Ministry of Youth and Sports intends to implement, 16 projects at an investment cost of EGP 380m during the current fiscal year (FY). Daily News Egypt met with Adel Radwan, the head of the Central Department of Sports Investment at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as well as Mohamed Hamdy, general manager of investment, finance, and asset management at the same ministry to discuss the sports investment plan this year.
What is the size of the financial allocations for the Ministry of Youth and Sports during the current fiscal year. How will that be spent?
Radwan: The allocations of the Ministry of Youth and Sports amounted to EGP 400m in the state budget for the current FY. This includes EGP 380m to implement 16 projects under the Central Administration of Sports Investment, as well as EGP 20m to develop some youth centres.
What are the major projects of the central administration that the ministry is seeking to implement?
Radwan: The projects include establishing 24 swimming pools, 5 sports directorates in a number of governorates, 12 indoor pitches, 5 clubs for disabled individuals, and 12 stadiums across Egypt.
The government allocated EGP 525m for the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the budget in the last FY, to implement its investment plan. This was cut down by EGP 125m this year, due to the government’s desire to reduce expenditure and curb expenses.
What is the ideology of the ministry in implementing its investment plan?
Radwan: The investment plan of the ministry is divided into two parts: a local plan, implemented in the youth directorates, and a central investment plan, which includes the projects posed centrally such as the stadiums, sports cities, and other major projects.
The ministry has achieved a breakthrough in the implementation of projects for sports clubs, sports entities, stadiums, youth centres, and swimming pools in the past years.
What is the goal in your plan of develop and create the stadiums file?
Radwan: The Central Administration for Sports Investment aims to complete the development of Sohag Stadium, and the establishment of a stadium in Minya, in addition to the development of other stadiums during the current FY. Mohamed Hamdy, the director of investment, finance, and asset management at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, presented the ministry’s plan for the establishment and development of 24 new swimming pools.
What are the developments done for swimming pools at the level of the governorates of the Republic?
Hamdy: The plan includes the establishment of seven new swimming pools in Cairo at a number of sports clubs, including Cairo Sports Club, Sports Development Center in Sheraton, and Maadi Club, as well as three swimming pools in Qaliubiya, in Benha Club, Benha Stadium, and El Khanka Club. This is in addition to two swimming pools in Kafr Al-Sheikh in Biyala Club and Sokha.
There will be two swimming pools also in Minya in Bani Mazar and Masr El Fekriya, another two in Suez in Suez Stadium and Suez Sports Club. Moreover, there are three pools in Aswan in Blanah Club, Abu El Rish, and Ain Shams. Finally, there are three in Alexandria in Shatby Club, Etihad, and Shooting Club, next to another an Assiut Club.
General director of investment picked on the discussion and noted that 40 swimming pools have been already implemented last year, in addition to completing several pools that have been under development over the past few years.
Tell us about the ministry’s new plan in establishing sports directorates.
Hamdy: The ministry aims to establish five youth and sports directorates in Giza, Aswan, Behira, North Sinai, and the Red Sea, next to five more sports clubs for disabled indiduals, as per directives of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who said that 2018 will be the year for disabled individuals.
The ministry plans to establish two stadiums in Minya and the 6th of October City in the current fiscal year, next to completing the development of 12 stadiums in a number of governorates, including the stadium of Shebin El Koum governorate of Menoufiya, and the stadiums of Sohag, Banha, Damietta, Al-Arish, Fayoum, Tanta, Suez, Sharqeya, Zagazig, Assiut, Alexandria, and Tur.The bulk of the allocations of the Ministry of Youth and Sports this year will be spent on the development and establishment of new stadiums at a cost of EGP 225m, out of a total of EGP 400m.
Will the Ministry complete the development of sports clubs?
Hamdy: The development of a number of sports clubs will be completed in eight governorates, including Damietta, Suez, and Abdeen club in Cairo, as well as Bani Obeid in Dakahlia, and Nakhil in Ismailia, in addition to some other clubs in Gharbia and Port Said.The indoor pitches received great attention from the ministry last year, where we developed 45 indoor pitches. We are also in the process of completing the development of 13 new pitches, including the one in Arish.
This is in addition to completing development of the indoor pitches in the stadiums of Benha, Damietta, Suez, Port Said, Mansoura, Tanta, Sohag, and Damanhour, in addition to the indoor pitch in Sheikh Zayed.
What about the establishment of outdoor pitches and sports centres that the ministry have started recently?
The Ministry of Youth and Sports plans to establish some open stadiums and sports centers in the 6th of October Club, the Sports Development Center in Hurghada, and Sharm El-Sheikh Club in South Sinai.
What are the entities that you rely on in implementing the ministry’s projects?
Radwan: The Ministry of Youth and Sports relies on the armed forces in the implementation of all projects during the past period. We shall continue relying on them as they implement the important projects in time. The costs of a number of projects increased after the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to float the Egyptian pound in November last year, leading the national currency to decline in value against the US dollar.
The ministry had formed a committee to pay financial compensation to companies assigned to implement sports projects, after the cost increased due to the flotation. It is important to encourage the private sector investment in sports to contribute to the state’s efforts in developing sports activities in all provinces.
Is the new Sports Law encouraging to investment?
Radwan: The new Sports Law encouraged private investment in the sports sector. Article 71 obligates those who want to establish a club or perform sports services to legalise their situation and establish Egyptian joint stock companies to manage this activity. The article states that all companies established to perform sports services of all kinds must take the form of shareholding companies and have authorized the offering the shares in public subscription in accordance with the provisions of the Capital Market Law. Their shares could also be listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).
The article allows the sports bodies subject to the provisions of this law, and with the consent of the central administrative body, to establish joint stock companies in which the authority and its members and investors contribute. The shares of these companies are offered to the public in accordance with the law and may be registered in the EGX—as long as this does not impact the activity of sports services.
Radwan: the article allowed the famous clubs to establish branches in the form of joint stock companies in which the club and its members and investors will participate after the approval of the central administrative authority. The ministry is currently preparing the bylaws of the new sports law that will clarify the regulatory and executive framework for investment in the sports sector.
What are the most prominent features of the new bylaws?
The bylaws will include clarifications for Article 72 of the new Sports Law, which states that no sports services company shall perform its business without obtaining a licence from the competent administrative authority, as well as article 74 that gives the competent minister the power to issue a reasoned decision to cancel the licence issued for the company or to suspend it in whole or in part for a period not exceeding three years in case the company committed any violation of the provisions of this law or the decisions issued in implementation thereof.
The ministry will cooperate with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in the preparation of the bylaws to ensure the provision of sports facilities wishing to invest in the market. The ministry is currently holding a series of workshops with sports clubs and some government agencies to contribute to the issuance of the bylaws, which will be a legal licence for the exercise of sports.
Furthermore, the ministry intends to sign cooperation protocols with the ministries of health and local development as an executive authority for all gym facilities such as gymnasiums and private playgrounds, to regulate their work, monitor the requirements applied in those clubs, and detect doping.