LAUSANNE: FIFA president Gianni Infantino is among the new members scheduled to join the International Olympic Committee next year. But athletics’ Lord Sebastian Coe will have to wait.
The head of world football’s governing body has generally been an IOC member on the basis of the worldwide significance of the sport.
The IOC made the announcement about its new members on the last day of the meeting of its executive board. Three leaders will be proposed as new members at the next session, held on January 9 and 10 on the sidelines of the Winter Youth Games in Lausanne.
Seven months later, the Athlete Commission elections, scheduled for the Tokyo 2020 Games, will nominate five other entrants. Thirty candidates will be in the running.
The initial trio are Infantino, American David Haggerty the president of the International Tennis Federation and Japan’s Yasuhiro Yamashita, president of the National Olympic Committee.
Football has been absent from the IOC since the departure of Sepp Blatter in 2015; Yamashita, Olympic champion of judo in 1984, in all categories, will replace Tsunekazu Takeda after having succeeded him to the Japanese Olympic Committee.; Haggerty, re-elected this year for a second term at the head of the ITF, strengthens an American contingent reduced by the departure of Larry Probst.
As for Coe, unanimously re-elected last September for a new four-year lease to the presidency of World Athletics (formerly IAAF), IOC presdent Thomas Bach said: “We wanted him to become a member of the IOC as president of one of our most important Olympic sports.”
However the ethics commission was prevented from proposing Coe on the grounds of conflict of interest because he chairs the consulting company, CSM.
Bach added: “We are in close consultation with him, we looked at the potential for potential conflict of interest he might have.”
Athletics has not been represented in the IOC since the departure of scandal-hit Lamine Diack in 2015. But a seat will be reserved during the session organized on the sidelines of the 2020 Tokyo Games, provided he cuts all the bridges with his consulting agency.