AIBA Charts a Way Back -- Federation Focus

Also: 2021 World Judo Championships host; UCI gender equality; ITTF's next headquarters

(ATR) The next step in AIBA’s efforts to get back into the good graces of the IOC begins on Saturday.

The International Boxing Association, suspended by the IOC last June for an assortment of concerns including governance, finance and refereeing, is holding the first of five scheduled Continental Forums in Panama City, Panama on Jan. 18.

AIBA says the forums are designed to create a "fruitful dialogue" between AIBA, the confederations and the national federations (NF). The more than 35 American countries who have confirmed their presence in Panama will be informed about amendments for AIBA Statutes, as well as be updated about the progress of reforms.

AIBA Interim President Dr. Mohamed Moustahsane said in a statement that the forums are also a great opportunity to understand all the needs of national federations and find a way for countries and continents to develop boxing.

Around the Rings will be in Panama to report on the event.

The Continental Forums in Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania are scheduled for February.

2021 World Judo Championships Host Revealed

The 2021 World Judo Championships will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer and Judo Federation of Uzbekistan (JFUz) President Azizjon Kamilov put pen to paper at the signing ceremony at Uzbekistan NOC headquarters on Wednesday.

Tashkent has been a stop on the World Judo Tour since 2013. The Judo Federation of Uzbekistan has also organized other high-level judo events, such as Continental Championships and Continental Opens.

"This Championships is a great occasion to promote values of Uzbekistan and the values of Judo to the world," Vizer said after the signing ceremony.

"I hope this great event will be an inspiration for the younger generations all over the world to enjoy judo and all other sports."

In a first for Judo, the IJF and the International Blind Sports Federation plan to host a joint world championships immediately following the senior event.

Karate in 2022 YOG For Dakar

Karate is one of the 35 sports on the program of the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar.

Our Jan. 8 article on the addition of baseball5 and wushu omitted mention of karate, which already had been selected for the program. That story has been updated and we apologize for the omission.

UCI Works Toward Gender Equality

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is taking the lead in leveling the field for women in the workplace.

The cycling federation is the first international sports federation to undertake EDGE Certification, the international standard for organizations in terms of workplace gender equality.

The UCI was awarded the first level of EDGE certification, EDGE Assess, in October after an audit by the independent certification body FLOCert.

The federation is now working towards obtaining the second level of certification, EDGE Move, within two years. To qualify, the UCI will need to create and implement internal policy that includes work flexibility, equal pay for men and women, prevention of all forms of harassment in the workplace, and promotion of diversity and integration.

"This certification is the latest in a series of measures to ensure gender parity in our sport," UCI President David Lappartient said in a statement.

"Major steps have already been taken at athlete level, particularly with the introduction of a minimum wage from this season in women's professional road cycling and in the better protection of riders, but also at management level within our governing bodies, where women need to be better represented in management positions."

The Search for the Next ITTF Headquarters

The bidding process to become the host city of the International Table Tennis Federation’s next headquarters began in earnest on Wednesday.

So far, 28 cities in 18 countries on four continents have declared an interest. The candidates have until April 15 to submit proposal documentation in order to submit an initial bid. During this time, the ITTF says additional cities are welcome to jump into the process and submit a bid.

The strongest bids will be shortlisted in June with final proposals due on Sept. 15. The preferred "Global Home of Table Tennis" will subsequently be selected on Sept. 30.

"We have grown tremendously as an organization since June 2017 and we now have over 70 full-time staff members. Our strategy is to centralize the workforce in one location to allow for more efficient operations," Thomas Weikert, ITTF President, said in a statement.

"What’s great is that we have received significant interest from some very big cities which interest us."

In addition to bringing the workforce together, the ITTF wants its new headquarters to include space for additional services including training facilities, a research lab, and an educational hub.

FITEQ Gains GAISF Observer Status

The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) Council officially grants the International Teqball Federation (FITEQ) Observer Status.

The decision on Jan. 10 gives FITEQ access to the GAISF General Assembly and the opportunity to take advantage of the GAISF network. Observer Status is the first step in the path towards fulfillment of all criteria required for GAISF Membership.

"We are still a young sport and are very grateful to the GAISF family for their guidance and for accepting our ideas," FITEQ General Secretary Marius Vizer Jr. said in a statement.

"On behalf of FITEQ, I would like to thank everyone involved in this journey so far, in particular the national federations who have been instrumental in the global growth of teqball. We are determined to use the momentum of this landmark to make 2020 another record-breaking year and continue to introduce teqball to people around the world."

With 45 national federations already established across all five continents, teqball will make its Games debut as a medal sport at the Asian Beach Games in Sanya, China later this year. It was featured as part of the cultural program at the GAISF World Urban Games in Budapest last September.

Written by Gerard Farek and Ed Hula

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