Series on Olympic Congresses: Berlin 1930

Questions of amateur status had occupied a significant amount of time during almost every Olympic Congress, and the last one before a break of more than 40 years was no different. Indeed, the reason the Congress of 1930 was called in the first place was to resolve a vexing question posed by FIFA, football’s world governing body, which wanted to know if the amateur status of footballers with alimony obligations was compromised if they received compensation for loss of earnings while taking part in the Olympic Games.

Heated debate
It was symbolic of the discussions that took place increasingly frequently between the IFs and the IOC. In Berlin the IFs were represented by 41 delegates, more than twice as many as had ever attended an Olympic Congress to that point. Debate was at times heated but following the Congress of Berlin the areas of responsibility grew clearer. As the IFs assumed more responsibility for technical procedures at Olympic Games, the IOC had more time to address fundamental issues such as amateurism or sport as a political instrument.

Favourable impression
The ancillary activities of the Congress of Berlin were as glorious as those at former Congresses. The reception given by the President of the German Reich, von Hindenburg, and a gathering of 600 canoes are worth mentioning. Germany wanted to make a favourable impression on the IOC family as a potential host for the 1936 Olympics, a question that was to be decided upon the following year.

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