LAUSANNE: SportAccord, the umbrella group of more than 90 Olympic and non-Olympic sports federations, is reverting to its old acronym of GAIFS in the attempt to recover from its near-collapse.
Reform proposals will be put to the general assembly in Aarhus, Denmark on April 7 by Patrick Baumann, the International Basketball Federation secretary-general who took over as president last April.
Baumann, a Swiss member of the International Olympic Committee and who defeated Russia’s Anna Arzhanova, president of the World Underwater Federation, will serve one four-year term in office.
Under the reform plans a two-year rotation policy for the position is being proposed.
Thus Baumann would be succeeded in 2020 by a representative from the Association of International Olympic Committee Recognised International Federations (ARISF).
The presidency will then move to the Association of International Olympic Winter Federations (AIOWF) from 2022 to 2024, the Association of Independent Members of SportAccord (AIMS) from 2024 to 2026 and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) from 2026 to 2028.
Also proposed is a return to the GAIFS acronym that was in use before 2009. Then it was the General Association of International Federation of Sports. Now it is set to evolve into the Global Association of International Sports Federations.
The SportAccord label was adopted under the controversial presidency of Dutchman Hein Verbruggen in cosying up to the conference of the same name. Verbruggen also moved the offices from Monte Carlo to Lausanne.
In a statement, SportAccord said: “The name of SportAccord does not necessarily reflect what the Association is. First and foremost, it is an Association composed of autonomous and independent sports federations and organisations at a worldwide level.
“It is the opinion of the council that a name that reflects this, like ‘Global Association of International Sports Federations’ (GAISF) would better represent the nature of the organisation.
“It would also make a clear distinction with the commercial activities held under the patronage of the Association, such as the SportAccord Convention/IF Forum or the Multiple Sport Games which shall also in the future retain the name and brand ‘SportAccord’, which is a protected mark of the Association.”