LAUSANNE: During its annual meeting held virtually Tuesday, the general assembly of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) re-iterated its commitment to support the safe and successful delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which is scheduled to begin on 23 July.
ASOIF president Francesco Ricci Bitti, who led the general assembly, said: “ASOIF and its member federations have been working hard and remain fully committed to support the successful delivery of the Games in Tokyo this summer despite the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With our International Federations having staged safely many major events during these past months, their expertise in event delivery will be fully exploited at Games time. We are better prepared than ever before.”
ASOIF’s focus of attention during the last months has been on the COVID-19 countermeasures and how to qualify the remaining athletes in a fair manner. The majority of the athletes to compete in Tokyo are qualified (through qualification events and ranking), with the official qualification deadline being 29 June.
The general assembly also re-elected Sebastian Coe (World Athletics), Ugur Erdener (World Archery) and Nenad Lalovic (United World Wrestling) as council members for another four-year term of office.
In another decision, ASOIF’s member federations approved amendments to the ASOIF Statutes, aimed at improving gender balance within the representation of International Federation (IF) delegates at the General Assembly. The wording states that if any member IF intends to send the maximum number of three delegates to the ASOIF General Assembly, then both genders must be represented. The other amendment to the Statutes agreed upon today provides clarification of a member’s status if its recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been suspended.
With a steady increase in interest and participation in virtual simulations of IF sports and disciplines, further accelerated by the pandemic, the General Assembly also discussed the topic of esports. During the past months, ASOIF has engaged PwC to identify strategic business options for all IFs to engage in related digital initiatives; and to work on common assessment criteria and methodologies to measure the impact of IF major virtual events.
With governance remaining a top priority for ASOIF and its members, the ASOIF member federations were also briefed on the timeline and process of the Fourth Review of IF Governance, led by ASOIF’s Governance Task Force. The governance review process will launch in November this year and the findings will be presented during ASOIF’s next General Assembly in 2022.
Following the failed attempt by twelve European based football clubs to set up the European Super League, the General Assembly today reiterated the importance of protecting the European Model of Sport, particularly its organic growth and its fundamental elements of solidarity, revenue redistribution and sport autonomy. ASOIF will continue to work closely with the IOC and its member federations to increase interaction with the public authorities on this important topic.
In addition to the report from the Organising Committee of Tokyo 2020, the ASOIF member IFs also received written updates from the IOC on matters related to the IFs and the Olympic Games, the Organising Committees of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games and from WADA.
With World DanceSport Federation’s discipline of Breaking to feature on the sports programme of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the General Assembly also approved the application of the World DanceSport Federation to become an Associate Member.