Sportaccord, the association of international sports federations and organisations, is to change its name to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Delegates at the Sportaccord General Assembly in Aarhus, Denmark, unanimously voted for the name change as one of three significant changes to the organisation’s statutes.
They also unanimously agreed proposals to adopt a two-year rotating Presidency from 2020 - with the role alternating between Olympic and Non-Olympic Federations - and to introduce a category of Observer Members for Federations wishing to join.
The decision to change the name was taken because members believe that the title Sportaccord does not accurately reflect what the organisation is or its role as a worldwide association of autonomous sports federations.
Adopting the Global Association of International Sports Federations name better represents the nature of the organisation and makes a clear distinction from the Sportaccord Convention and any other commercial activities carried out under and on behalf of Sportaccord / GAISF.
The changes to the Presidency have been introduced in order to avoid instability and the potentially divisive impact on the membership created by the previous system.
Under the new Statutes the Presidency will rotate in two-year cycles between the candidates presented by the umbrella groups representing Olympic and non-Olympic sports – ARIFS, AIOWF, AIMS and ASOIF.
The impact will be to ensure stability, transparency and more even representation of all members, whether from Olympic on non-Olympic sports.
Observer Status for Federations wishing to join GAISF has been introduced to assist Federations which do not fulfil the strict criteria for full membership. As Observers, they will be entitled to attend the General Assembly and benefit from the support of GAISF in fulfilling the full membership criteria including having the required number of National Federations and recognition by National Olympic Committees or national sports authorities. Observer status is valid for two years and can be renewed once.
The General Assembly Sportaccord/ GAISF confirmed its overwhelming support for the International Olympic Committee Executive Board’s vision for a more robust global anti-doping system to protect clean athletes which should be equally independent from sports organisations and national interests.
The members fully supported the view that NADOS and IFs are ion an equal footing and that any future system cannot do without the input and expertise of the International Federations to provide an international level playing field for the athletes.