SportAccord [Edit]

In the early 1960s, many sports federations were unhappy that they had so little influence with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Led by the Frenchman Roger Coulon, president of the Fédération Internationale des Luttes Amateurs (FILA [wrestling]), the International Federations (IFs) banded together in 1967 to form the General Assembly of International Federations (GAIF), later the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), or Association Générale des Fédérations Internationales de Sports (AGFIS). In 2003, the GAISF began holding a yearly convention of sports federations called SportAccord. At the 7th SportAccord Conference in Denver, Colordo (USA) in April 2009, it was elected to rebrand GAISF as SportAccord.

The headquarters of SportAccord is currently in Monte Carlo. As of 2015, there are 92 sports member federations, and 17 Associate Members. Many of these federations govern Olympic sports (35), several are IOC-Recognized federations (31), but 26 of them are not directly affiliated with the IOC and SportAccord gives them a small voice within the Olympic Movement. The aims of SportAccord are “to act as a forum for the exchange of ideas and for discussion on common problems in sport; to collect, collate, and circulate information; to provide members with secretarial and translating services, the organization of meetings, technical documentation and consultancy; to collect news bulletins, technical rules and regulations from members; to assemble and coordinate the dates of main international competitions; and to publish a half-yearly calendar.”

In 2013 the President of SportAccord was Marius Vizer of the International Judo Federation. At the 2015 SportAccord convention his opening remarks lambasted the Olympic Movement and many recent moves by IOC President Thomas Bach. In response, numerous federations withdrew from SportAccord. Vizer was forced to resign and was placed as provisional President by Francesco Ricci Bitti of the International Tennis Federation, with most federations re-joining the group. However, irreparable damage to SportAccord may have been done, as the IOC has taken steps to basically subsume its responsibilities under their aegis.