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IOC President optimistic but cautious on Agenda 2020 changes


IOC President Thomas Bach gave away no secrets at the conclusion of the Executive
Board’s preliminary debate, at Montreux, on issues for the Agenda 2020 Session in
December – yet indicated that Baseball-Softball could return to the Programme for
Tokyo 2020 should there be agreement among all parties. There will be 40
recommended adjustments to IOC functions, from thousands presented, put
forward for consideration.

“If there is agreement among ALL stakeholders – federations, hosts,
broadcasters – changes can be made to the Programme after a host has been
elected, but the IOC will not impose any introduction if there is no agreement. Each
and any sport would be considered individually. The intention is to achieve more
flexibility, while at the same time maintaining sustainability for protection of the
Games’ character, only possible within limits and controlling the overall size.”

Bach explained that adjustments were intended to become more of an
invitation to individual cities, in the discussion of a partnership more than a simple
application, and this primarily includes the objective of reducing the cost of
bidding. The IOC wants to be clear in its desire for economy, simultaneously
wishing to discover what are the particular wishes of any city. The time span from
election to a Games will remain at seven years. “This is a sound basis and
successful,” Bach stated. “We will be making no requests to a particular city, but
will be inviting candidates to study and explain their own environment and desires.”

Bach’s optimism is that a more sympathetic approach by the IOC will expand
interest among the potential hosts and that extended advice will encourage
candidates – “but it’s too early yet to judge”.

Regarding extension of the number of sports, beyond 28, the President
admitted: “There are many limitations, and the EB has not addressed the possibility of
certain sports, our debate has been more about the principle, about flexibility (Games
by Games).” The length of the Games, 17 days, would remain unchanged. On the
question of raising the age limit for IOC Members, the President said that a working
group was discussing membership, “and I think there will be recommendations.”

This article was republished with permission from the editor and publisher of the Sport Intern, Karl Heinz-Huba.


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