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07 Mar 2022

ASOIF Council condemns the invasion of Ukraine

The Council of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At its first meeting of 2022, the ASOIF Council voiced its full solidarity with the Ukrainian sport community, and the Ukrainian people at large. Following the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), ASOIF’s member International Federations (IFs) relocated or cancelled their upcoming international sport events in Russia and Belarus. They also took decisions regarding the participation of Russian and Belarussian athletes and officials in international competitions.

ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, who chaired the Council meeting today, said: “What’s happening in Ukraine right now is heartbreaking. It goes totally against our values - against the Olympic values. We are thinking of the many affected people, young and old, in these extremely difficult and troubling times. Let’s all do our utmost to advocate and stand together for peace.”

The ASOIF Council supported the SportAccord Executive Committee’s decision to cancel the 2022 SportAccord Summit in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The Council therefore agreed to organise the ASOIF General Assembly on 8 June in Lausanne, Switzerland, in a hybrid format. At this year’s annual gathering of the ASOIF member federations, discussions will focus on the preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, amendments to the ASOIF Statutes, new projects and other items.

The Council members were updated about the Fourth Review of IF Governance, which is nearing completion following a full response rate by the ASOIF members to the self-assessment questionnaire, which has been revised to remain up-to-date. The submissions are currently under evaluation by independent external assessors.

Another ASOIF project, a paper that aims to enhance the recognition of the role of IFs by EU decision-makers and contribute to a more informed debate on the future of the ‘European Model of Sport’, is also being finalised. The document, which proposes a new collaboration model for public authorities, the sports world and the commercial sector, will be published in the coming weeks.

In view of International Women’s Day on 8 March and ongoing efforts to better harness women’s talent in the leadership of Summer Olympic sports, the Council welcomed the 2022 edition of the Women Lead Sports online programme. The course is meant to prepare more potential female leaders to serve in elective positions within the Olympic Movement.

Finally, the Council also approved a proposal for several amendments to the ASOIF Statutes, which relate to the membership status (e.g., redefining the eligibility criteria for Full and Associate Members), related rights and obligations, and lapse of membership. The amendments will be tabled for vote at the General Assembly.

The next ASOIF Council meeting will be held prior to the ASOIF General Assembly.