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World sports federations give up their own independent platform GAISF

A great majority of non-Olympic sports federations may be ready to weaken their position vis-à-vis Olympic federations if they vote to dissolve their common association GAISF at a General Assembly on 29 November. This will further strengthen IOC’s grip on world sport.

President Ivo Ferriani, former CEO Nis Hatt. (Photo: GAISF)

More than one hundred international sports federations seem set to give up their over 50 year old common platform and reduce their own independence at the end of November. Mainly pushed by leading members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) is to be dissolved.

More than one hundred international sports federations seem set to give up their over 50 year old common platform and reduce their own independence at the end of November. Mainly pushed by leading members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) is to be dissolved.

Today, almost any sport played on this planet that has a world federation, is among the 127 members of GAISF that unites Olympic as well as non-Olympic sports.

With GAISF dissolved, the power of the IOC beyond the Olympic world will be almost absolute and cemented for decades to come.

Sport is about to lose a body that has been one of the pillars of the Olympic system for fifty years. The balance will be rocked worldwide, especially to the disadvantage of all non-Olympic sports.

GAISF President and IOC member Ivo Ferriani (Italy), also president of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) and AIOWF, is under huge pressure to bring about the desired result. For this, he needs a two-thirds majority. He justified the planned dissolution earlier in November in the online medium „Insidethegames“ in flowery words.

In his written statement, called a blog post, Ferriani claims:

„Dissolution is the most appropriate option, with the few remaining activities of GAISF being transferred to a restructured SportAccord. This is the way to deliver a stronger, more agile and business-oriented approach for the future.“

SportAccord was previously – and still is – GAISF’s business unit, which hosts huge annual congresses and smaller multi-sport events. SportAccord was also, for several years, the name GAISF took for itself to strengthen its political branding.

It is absurd in many ways that the General Assembly of all global sports federations and a few more institutions should dissolve itself and join its own business construct – with the existing members getting fewer democratic rights.

In SportAccord, as before, only the respective umbrella organisations of the sport federations, are stakeholders:

– The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)
– The Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF)
– The Association of IOC recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF)
– The Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS)

Practically, the resolution and transition to SportAccord means that the leadership positions in ASOIF, AIOWF, ARISF and AIMS will be upgraded – and, in contrast, the power of individual federations devaluated.

That will mean a drastic change in the membership structure of GAISF which looks like this today:

olympic system, ioc, sport & politics, mega-events, governance, corruption in sport
The Olympic system 2020. (© SPORT & POLITICS)

Various payments as bait: „I spoke with Thomas Bach“

Behind closed doors Ivo Ferriani is concealing very piquant details of the planned GAISF dissolution: For example, he is obviously baiting current GAISF board members by promising them good compensation in the new structure – as we can prove for the first time.

So when, for example, the presidents of the non-Olympic associations ARISF (Raffaele Chiulli, Italy) and AIMS (Stephan Fox, Germany) are vigorously campaigning for the dissolution of GAISF in these weeks, they are doing so with the insider knowledge that they will most likely be additionally remunerated in their new functions in the business unit SportAccord.

This fact has not been communicated to GAISF members. None of the numerous presidents and secretary generals contacted for this article knew about the payments Ferriani was targeting.

This is at least a conflict of interest.

And it gets even stranger and more questionable. At a recent GAISF Council meeting, Ivo Ferriani claimed that he had discussed the issue of payment with IOC president Thomas Bach. They agreed about it, he said.

Ferriani literally said:

I spoke with Thomas Bach. We have to find some compensation for any president or any member.“
„Every position has to be compensated. We have to change the mood for the future. You have to be compensated.“
„I spoke clearly with Thomas Bach. We have to go forward.“

Do you want to hear Ferriani? See a recording that sources have leaked to me:

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