Global Association of International Sports Federations

NameGlobal Association of International Sports Federations
AbbreviationGAISF
Founded1967

Description

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 March 2009, it was elected to rebrand GAISF as SportAccord. However, in April 2017 the name reverted to the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

The headquarters of GAISF is currently in Monte Carlo. As of 2020, there are 96 sports member federations, and 22 Associate Members. Many of these federations govern Olympic sports (38), several are IOC-Recognized federations (33), but 24 of them are not directly affiliated with the IOC and GAISF gives them a small voice within the Olympic Movement. The aims of GAISF 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 GAISF (then 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, some damage was done to GASIF/SportAccord, as the IOC took steps to subsume its responsibilities under their aegis.

Presidents

Tenure Name Country Notes
1967—1969 Bill Berge Phillips AUS
1969—1986 Thomas Keller SUI
1986—2004 Kim Un-Yong KOR
2004—2013 Hein Verbruggen NED
2013—2015 Marius Vizer AUT
2015—2016 Gian-Franco Kasper SUI
2016—2018 Patrick Baumann SUI
2019— Raffaele Chiulli ITA vacant 2018-2019