For years, Swiss sports funding has accidentally subsidized German sports clubs in the Büsingen exclave in the Konstanz district. The funding for the footballers, the tennis club and the gymnastics club has now been discontinued, the Federal Office for Sport (Baspo) in Magglingen said on request. The error was noticed during a computer change. The authority wants to refrain from repayments.
The small community of Büsingen is Germany’s only exclave. It is completely surrounded by the Confederation and is also considered a Swiss municipality for customs purposes. That’s why she has a Swiss postal code in addition to her German one. FC Büsingen took advantage of this years ago and applied for funding, which was also approved. According to the authorities, the football club received between 9,000 and 15,000 francs a year from 2018 to 2021. The gymnastics club was funded with up to CHF 2,000 per year.
“The football club has been playing in the Swiss league for decades,” said FC President Heinz Wipf. Eight out of ten members are Swiss. “We have nothing to do with Germany,” said the 66-year-old. Because the club is not a member of the German league, there is no money from Baden-Württemberg. “We thought that we were entitled to the Swiss funding,” said Wipf, who himself comes from neighboring Schaffhausen.
Because of the postal code, it was not clear that Büsingen was a club on German territory, according to the Swiss Federal Office. The error only became apparent when a change was made in the database, in which a certain insurance number became due for members who only have Swiss members. “Even if the clubs are closely linked to the surrounding communities, there is no legal basis for financially supporting the clubs in Büsingen,” said a spokeswoman.
Now the small community on the Upper Rhine with around 1,500 residents wants to support their clubs financially. “We don’t want to whine, we want to help,” said Büsingen’s mayor Vera Schraner. Funds from the VAT refund in Switzerland are to be used for this.