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SportAccord Changes Name to Global Association of International Sports Federations

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Patrick Baumann will chair the IOC inspection. Photo: FIBA

Changing the name of SportAccord back to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and a shift to a two-year Presidency were among the key statutes unanimously passed during the organization’s General Assembly here.

GAISF President Patrick Baumann said he believed that the decisions made at the meeting, held as part of the SportAccord Convention, showed they had “closed the book” on the organization’s turbulent recent past.

World Rowing and the International Shooting Sport Federation have returned as members after resigning in 2015 following then President Marius Vizer’s explosive speech which criticized International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach.

Baumann also announced the International Paralympic Committee have applied and should be confirmed soon.

The International University Sports Federation and the International Bandy Federation became full GAISF members.

The International Sports Press Association (AIPS) and the World Olympians Association (WOA) were unanimously approved as associate members.

“I think we have closed the book on the past,” Baumann said.

“That is the key.

“The past is rich and full of good things – it is not because of one moment that it’s not good.

“But we have closed that and we have a chance now to really look forward in a very positive way.”

Observer status for Federations wishing to join GAISF has been introduced to assist those which do not fulfil the strict criteria for full membership.

The name change was installed to “clarify and simplify” the nature of the organisation.

It marks a shift back to the same acronym used before 2009.

SportAccord was previously known as the General Assembly of International Sports Federations from 1967 until 1976, when there was a slight alteration to General Association of International Sports Federations.

The subsequent re-branding undertaken during the reign of former President Hein Verbruggen in 2009 generated confusion due to the similarity in names with the SportAccord Convention.

The organization will now be called the GAISF, with branding elements such as the changing of the website and logos due to come into effect in the near future.

“Adopting the Global Association of International Sports Federations name better represents the nature of the organization and makes a clear distinction from the SportAccord Convention and any other commercial activities carried out under and on behalf of SportAccord/GAISF,” the GAISF said in a statement.

Switching to a two-year rotating Presidency is billed as a way to increase equality between the different Member Federations.

All seven former Presidents are representatives of Summer Olympics sports.

Baumann, secretary general of the International Basketball Federation, is due to be followed in 2020 by a representative from the Association of International Olympic Committee Recognized International Federations (ARISF).

The Association of International Olympic Winter Federations (AIOWF) will then lead from the 2022 to 2024 before a nominee from the Association of Independent Members of SportAccord will serve for the next two years.

The current ARISF President, who would be in line to become SportAccord head in 2020, is International Powerboating Federation President Raffaele Chiulli.

The statute amendments were mostly given unanimous backing, although there was at least one member in the room who voted against the proposal to support the IOC Executive Board’s declaration on anti-doping reforms.

Association of Summer Olympic International Federations President Ricci Bitti, who also chairs the SportAccord Convention, made a cutting remark on the current state of the Olympic bid process.

The Italian joked that the SportAccord Convention, which he chairs, “is in a much better situation for bidding than the IOC candidatures.”

Ricci Bitti revealed yesterday that they had received 15 applications from cities interested in hosting future editions of SportAccord Convention.

Next year’s event is scheduled to be held in Bangkok from April 15 to 20.

By Liam Morgan

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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