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International Judo Federation Moves HQ to Budapest

Ábrahám Vass 2019.08.23.

It has been officially confirmed yesterday that the International Judo Federation (IJF) will move its headquarters to Budapest.

For the relocation, IJF’s governing charter had to be amended, which took place at the body’s congress on Wednesday in Tokyo. 

The planned move was first aired by pro-govt sports daily Nemzeti Sport more than a week ago. The paper wrote that besides sports events, the government now aims to attract international sports organisations, too, and to relocate their headquarters to Hungary. In one of the measures, in July, the National Assembly voted to extend the opportunity to pay the Simplified Contribution to Public Revenues (EKHO) to the employees of sports organisations, meaning more beneficial taxation for them. IJF is the first to make the move and leave its former headquarters, Swiss Lausanne.

After the official announcement, Balázs Fürjes, the state secretary for Budapest and metropolitan agglomeration development, stated that it is a great honor that IJF decided to come to Budapest and expressed hope that more organisations would follow IJF’s example.

The relocation hasn’t come without antecedents. The Federation’s Presidential Office has been residing in Budapest for a long time. IJF’s president, Romanian businessman Marius Vizer, who has long been residing in Budapest, has a close relation to both Viktor Orbán and Russian president Vladimir Putin, who is a big judo fan, and is also the IJF’s honorary president. In 2017, when Budapest hosted the World Judo Championships, he was also present and held talks with Orbán. In addition, Budapest would host the 2022 event.

featured image: illustration; via MTI/Tibor Illyés