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13 Nov 2019

Newly composed ASOIF Council meets for the first time

During its meeting held in Lausanne on 13 November 2019, the Council of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) discussed the third IF governance assessment which was just launched. It also learnt about the latest preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as well as the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) 2022 in Dakar; and the results of a new study on IF engagement in esports.

The meeting marked the first official gathering of the newly composed Council, following the elections held at the ASOIF General Assembly in May where Marisol Casado (ITU), Ingmar De Vos (FEI) and Morinari Watanabe (FIG) were elected as Council members for a four-year term of office. Whilst Marisol Casado was re-elected, Ingmar De Vos and Morinari Watanabe are both new Council members.

ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, who led the meeting, said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Ingmar De Vos and Morinari Watanabe as new Council colleagues. We live in a time where the only constant is change. Their wealth of expertise and dynamism will be invaluable in tackling new challenges and supporting our member federations as best as possible.”

With governance remaining a top priority for ASOIF and its members, the third IF governance review process began last week. ASOIF member federations have received a self-assessment questionnaire which includes for the first time the topics of safeguarding from harassment and abuse as well as compliance with data protection and anti-trust legislation. The findings will be presented at ASOIF’s next General Assembly in April 2020.

Francesco Ricci Bitti said during the meeting: “The two-year interval from the last governance review allows our members sufficient time to implement the more complex changes which are required. In order to support this process, our Governance Support and Monitoring Unit continues to help IFs achieve progress in this important field.”

The ASOIF Governance Support and Monitoring Unit (GSMU) was established in late 2018. It aims to help IFs evolve from the adoption of principles and rules to tangible performances in good governance.

With the Tokyo 2020 test event programme completed for this year, the Council agreed that Games preparations are well advanced - with, naturally, some individual sport concerns from a number of IFs still to be addressed. For instance, water quality and high temperatures have posed issues for certain outdoor events. Possible solutions were discussed at the dedicated ASOIF Medical Workshop held last month.  

The Council also heard a report about the IOC Coordination Commission’s first visit to Dakar (Senegal), the host of the 2022 YOG in October. The YOG 2022 will be the first ever Olympic event to be held in Africa. It was highlighted that the strong support of IFs in preparing their respective sporting competitions will be crucial for the success of the event.

Finally, the Council was updated on the outcomes of a new esports study, conducted by AISTS on behalf of ASOIF as part of the follow-up of the “Future of Global Sport Report”. The paper aims to determine the major factors Olympic Summer IFs consider when deciding whether to adopt esports as a tool to digitise their sports offerings; and to establish the current status of the IFs’ engagement with esports in general. The findings will be published on 15 November 2019.

ASOIF will hold its next Council meeting in March 2020 in Lausanne.