A Battle for Cycling Presidency -- Federations Focus

(ATR) Also: FIFA contemplates major rule changes; shooting sport holds extraordinary general assembly.

(ATR) Incumbent International Cycling Union president Brian Cookson is no longer running unopposed for the federation’s presidency this September.

Current UCI vice-president and European Cycling Union president David Lappartient has entered the campaign as the sole challenger to Cookson and says he wants to give the UCI president more power to bring about change.

"My first priority will be to strengthen the authority of the UCI with a President ensuring a real and effective leadership role," Lappartient said in a statement announcing his campaign.

Each candidate has the support of their country’s National Cycling Federations and has a proven track record of sports leadership.

Cookson says his work as president of the IF since 2013 when he beat former president Pat McQuaid in an election will only improve moving forward.

"I am seeking the continued trust and support of the cycling community, so we can build on the progress that we have made together over the last four years," Cookson said in a statement. Cookson helped lead the efforts to change the cycling program at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where the IOC decided to give cycling four more events while losing no athlete quotas.

Lappartient, a former French Cycling Federation president,says he hopes to build on this work to further improve gender balance in the sport and make it more modern.

"The Union Cycliste Internationale must make cycling a sport of the 21st century, which constitutes the third pillar of my project," he says. "This will mean promoting the development of women’s cycling, focusing in particular on its structure in terms of both races and teams."

The 45 NCFs will cast their vote for president on Sep. 21 at the UCI Congress in Bergen, Norway.

FIFA Contemplates Radical Game Changes

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is proposing some major changes to the beautiful game that may be tough for fans and players to fully adopt.

The IFAB outlines its proposals in a document titled "Fair Play!" that it says has three aims: to improve player behavior, increase playing time and increase the games attractiveness to the market.

"Many people are very frustrated that a typical 90-minute match has fewer than 60 minutes of effective [actual] playing time i.e. when the ball is in play," the IFAB said. "The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and 'speed up' the game."

These measures include reducing match time from 90 to 60 minutes, a change that may be the hardest for fans and players to agree with. This proposal stipulates that the clock would stop every time the ball goes out of bounds.

Other changes are that players can play free kicks to themselves instead of teammates, goal kicks wouldn’t need to travel outside the penalty area to encourage passing, no follow-up attempts on penalty kicks and penalty goals are awarded for handballs at the goal line.

The proposals will be discussed by FIFA over its next several meetings before any drastic rule changes are adopted by the International Federation.

Shooting Sport Talks New Olympic Program

Leaders of the International Shooting Sport Federation will gather in Munich, Germany on June 24 and 25 to go over proposals to change the sport’s Olympic program of events.

The ISSF is holding an Extraordinary General Assembly at the request of more than 25 of its National Federations to go over the changes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approved by the IOC Executive Board earlier in June.

The changes added three mixed gender team events in Trap, 10m Air Rifle and 10m Air Pistol but also brought about the exclusion of Men’s Double trap, Men’s 50m Rifle Prone and Men’s 50m Pistol events. The ISSF also lost 30 athlete quotas that were available at Rio 2016, now sporting a total of 360.

Discussions about the new program for Tokyo 2020 could get heated as some National Federations such as USA Shooting have openly opposed the changes.

"It is important to note that the U.S. Olympic Committee has in no way directed these Olympic shooting program changes," said interim USA Shooting chief executive David Johnson.

ISSF president Olegario Vazquez Rana says he welcomes the discussion from its members and believes the proposal adopted by the IOC represents the sport’s best interests.

"At the ISSF we are 100% committed to operating under the principles of good governance and transparency and so were very willing to call an Extraordinary General Assembly once we had received a sufficient number of requests," Rana said in a statement.

"It is very important that every Member Federation has a voice in our future and we are always ready to listen."

The extraordinary general assembly follows the ISSF executive committee meeting on June 24.

Written by Kevin Nutley

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