Norway’s national tennis federation (Norges Tennisforbund) has been serving up nothing but bad news for the past several weeks. Its secretary general was fired, local clubs feel ignored and critics are lashing out at federation officials over high salaries, too much travel and potential conflicts of interest.
Newspaper Aftenposten summed it all up on Tuesday, reporting that the tennis powers-that-be are caught in their worst crisis ever. Secretary general Alexander Kjær was shown the door after he was caught using indoor training facilities in violation of Corona containment measures, but also after news broke that he’d been paid a bonus simply for staying within budget.
The federation’s sports chief Øivind Sørvald has also been criticized for excessive travel to tournaments around the world, while also serving as a so-called “expert commentator” for Eurosport. That’s led to alleged conflicts of interest, while local clubs and players think he should have been spending more time on them.
TV2 has also been interviewing foreign tennis coaches who have worked in Norway and criticized how the federation uses its resources. While Norway can claim tennis star Casper Ruud, the federation has been roundly criticized for not devoting resources to nurturing more talent among young Norwegians.
Lars Gjerdåker, president of the federation, has reportedly agreed to an external investigation of the federation after all the criticism. Local clubs will also be invited to vent their frustration.