– If the sports president is to start deciding where people should place their money, then I think we will go the happy way, says national team player Alexander Bonsaksen.
The statement comes in the wake of VGs case of handball profile Christian O’Sullivan’s stake in the foreign gaming company Coolbet.
Sports President Berit Kjøll called the handball profile’s investment “unmusical”, although she pointed out that it was not illegal to invest in such companies.
Kjøll also stated that she “did not like” the investment, while Kåre Geir Lio, president of the Norwegian Handball Association, described it all as unwise.
After the criticism, O’Sullivan chose to sell his shareholding in the company.
Ice hockey profile Bonsaksen reacts strongly to the statements of the sports president.
– He chooses to buy some shares in a foreign gaming company, he must be free to do so. It is not the case that he advertises Coolbet, it is a completely different matter. What he chooses to invest in privately, no one else has anything to do with it, he believes.
In a twitter post, he ironizes the conflict by pointing out that the sports president has a shareholding in a small distillery in Hordaland which produces gin and whiskey.
– Sports and alcohol do not belong together, it is said… Now Berit has to sell herself out of this alcohol tap as fast as F…! he writes and uses the subject line #umusikalsk.
In other words, the same expression used by the sports president Christian O’Sullivan’s action post.
– I’m putting it bluntly. I have nothing to do with where she places the savings, just as she has nothing to do with what O’Sullivan does with his, he explains to NRK.
– That is what I react to, that they should comment on what he should do with his private money, the hockey player elaborates.
Rejects the criticism
Finn Aagard, head of communications at the Norwegian Sports Confederation, believes that Kjøll does not tell athletes what to do with their savings.
– She has described investments from practitioners in foreign betting companies as unwise, he says.
In the Sports Confederation own guidelines it states, among other things, the following:
“Sports shall have a restrictive attitude to cooperation agreements with companies that have a significant part of their business related to the sale of alcoholic beverages / products.”
Kjøll herself does not see any concerns in that she has private investments with an alcohol producer.
The sports president points out that it is a question of a legal entrepreneurial company in Norway, subject to Norwegian laws and regulations, and that she has entered with the lowest possible amount, namely 50,000 kroner.
– I therefore do not see that such an investment should be problematic, neither in terms of my position of trust nor guidelines for cooperation agreements in sports. My position regarding serving alcohol at sports events with children and young people present has of course not changed for that reason.
– Take care of the beam in your own eye
NRK’s sports commentator Jan Petter Saltvedt emphasizes that he does not know the details of Kjøll’s private investments. He is still clear in his speech:
– On a general basis, I would say that higher demands are placed on both ethics and musicality for sports presidents than handball players, Saltvedt comments.
The sports commentator believes that the sports president would contribute to harmony in Sports Norway by selling out of the distillery business.
– Bonsaksen is ironic about Kjøll’s statements and puts it bluntly, but emphasizes a point that has been made aware since the Bible’s origin: Take care of the beam in your own eye before you comment on the tile in your brother’s, he concludes.