Pilsner Urquell will instead give the money from the contract to support Czech athletes and the development of sports venues. Credit: Olympijskytym.cz.

Pilsner Urquell Withdraw Support For Olympics Due To Russian Participation

Pilsner Urquell, an official partner of the Czech Olympic Committee, announced yesterday that they will not support the 2024 Paris Olympics under the current conditions, but will provide funding to Czech athletes. The announcement came in reaction to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Paris Olympics.

“Pilsner Urquell has decided to withdraw all communications related to the Summer Olympics in Paris after an agreement with the Czech Olympic Committee (COV),” brewery spokesman Zdenek Kovar told CTK. “Nor is it planning its own campaign on the occasion of the Games, as it did in the past.” However, he said the company will continue to financially support Czech sport, and the funds intended to support the Olympics will go to Czech athletes. 

“This is an internal matter for Pilsner Urquell that we will continue to discuss, and it is not for us to comment on at the moment,” the COV said in a statement for CTK.

Other partners of the COV, T-Mobile and Alpine Pro, want to help the COV exert pressure on the IOC to reconsider its position on Russian participation in the games, the companies’ representatives said.

Last week, CPI Property Group, also one of the COV’s official partners, announced the end of its cooperation with the committee for the same reason. Originally, the company was to contribute CZK 25-30 million to the COV budget over a four-year cycle.

While CPI Property Group ended its partnership with the COV, Pilsner Urquell instead decided to give the money from the contract to support Czech athletes and the development of sports venues.

Pilsner Urquell marketing manager Zuzana Dudova said the brewery wants to continue celebrating the success of Czech athletes, but at events that are in line with its values. “At the same time, we are not going to weaken in the support we give them and we want to live up to the financial commitment we have made,” she said.

The COV welcomed this stance: “We appreciate that Pilsner Urquell continues to stand by Czech athletes and is still our partner even in these turbulent times.”

Pilsner Urquell said it has supported Czech Olympians for over 20 years in the name of values ​​such as fairness, humanity, and togetherness.

“We hoped that they would be reflected in the upcoming Olympics,” said Dudova. “Unfortunately, the decision of the IOC, despite the efforts and opposition of the COV, is not in line with these principles. The upcoming Olympic Games are thus becoming a political issue and we do not want to actively support the Games under the current conditions.” 

Kovar said Pilsner Urquell had taken a clear stance against the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the beginning. It has supported a number of humanitarian activities, stopped exporting its products to Russia and Belarus immediately after the conflict began, and has maintained this decision.

“We appreciate all of Pilsner Urquell’s humanitarian activities towards Ukraine and its clear opposition to the Russian attack. Our position is also unequivocal, we condemn Russian aggression and oppose any form of participation by Russia and Belarus in the Olympic qualifiers and the Games themselves for the duration of the war in Ukraine,” said the COV.

Pilsner Urquell continues to support Czech hockey. “We are the main partner of the national hockey team, both men’s and women’s,” Dudova noted.

Pilsner Urquell Withdraw Support For Olympics Due To Russian Participation
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