The role of sport federations in the promotion of European sport was the focus of a presentation, delivered today by ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti at the EU Sport Forum. Organised by the European Commission, this year’s edition takes place from 8 to 9 April in Bucharest, Romania. In the presence of Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner responsible for Sport, and Bogdan Matei, Romanian Minister of Youth and Sport, as well as key representatives of sport organisations, EU institutions, national governments and NGOs, the ASOIF President explained the vital and unique role International Federations (IFs) play in the development and organisation of sport at global as well as at European level.
President Ricci Bitti presented key findings from ASOIF’s recently published Report on the Future of Global Sport which lays out a vision of the sport landscape over the next 20 years and includes key recommendations for the IFs and for ASOIF itself. From the report outcomes, the ASOIF President construed some concrete suggestions for IF commitments and, in return, for urgently needed more recognition and consideration by the EU.
In this context, ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Whilst IFs should adhere to high governance standards, undertake financial investments in integrity measures and strictly respect prevailing law at all levels, we would need higher legal certainty by the EU. In particular we require a clear and precise definition of the specificity of sport which fully enables IFs to perform their role in sport development from grassroots to elite levels, constituting an important contribution to society.”
For the subsequent lively panel discussion on this very topic, Ricci Bitti was joined by EU Commissioner Navracsics and Minister Matei; Marijke Fleuren, President of the European Hockey Federation (EHF) and International Hockey Federation (FIH) Executive Board member; and Janez Kocijancic, President of the European Olympic Committees.
About the EU Sport Forum
The EU Sport Forum is the main platform for the structured dialogue between the European Commission and sport stakeholders. The Forum's main objective is to take stock of progress achieved in implementing the EU agenda for sport and to seek stakeholders’ views on current and planned/possible future activities. Other topics discussed at this year’s Forum include doping in sport; the rights and interests of athletes; protection of sports rights by the EU; financing of grassroots sport; justice in sport; and Europe as a location for major sport events.