The end is near: prospect of dissolution looms over GAISF General Assembly

GAISF’s existence may be nearing a terminus as the umbrella body for international sports federations prepares for a vote on its dissolution. GAISF President Ivo Ferriani used his speech at the virtual general assembly to make his case for dissolution and call for a vote on the matter.

The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) held a virtual general assembly on Friday, with the looming vote to dissolve the umbrella body headlining the agenda.

GAISF President Ivo Ferriani wasted no time in addressing the matter, devoting much of his speech at the General Assembly to the topic. He told members, “this may sound paradoxical, but this proposal to dissolve our organization is a positive one serving sport in need [of] development.”

“[This] organization and the entities [involved] are not established and maintained for themselves. They are there to serve a purpose.”

“GAISF has long served useful functions and purposes. However, it has experienced a significant reduction of the scope of its activities over the past few years,” said Ferriani.

He explained how he saw GAISF’s activities becoming more, and more, redundant as other international bodies and organizations took over the duties once overseen by the association.

He also cited the work of more specialized umbrella bodies as part of his reasoning for dissolving GAISF, stating, “the umbrella organizations, which also represent GAISF Members, cover collective services for their own members and they can do so at a more specific level.”

2020 Winter Youth Olympics Ivo Ferriani
2020 Winter Youth Olympics Ivo Ferriani

“ASOIF, AIOWF, ARISF, and AIMS – are doing more for their Members than ever before and this is certainly positive,” stated Ferriani. “As such, the GAISF Council has come to the conclusion that the logical consequence of these developments has to be explored.”

“This is why we today announce that an Extraordinary General Meeting will be called, in September, to decide on the dissolution of GAISF.”

The announcement follows months of speculation about the dissolution of the organization after Ferriani sent a letter to members late last year informing them of his intention to call for a vote on the matter.

After making the announcement, he reiterated to members, “organizations must serve a purpose and they do not exist for their own sake.”

While it remains unclear what will happen to all of the activities and projects overseen by GAISF following the potential dissolution, Ferriani seemed to suggest that SportAccord would step in to fill the role once held by the umbrella body, and oversee projects such as the .sport initiative.

It was clear from the questions asked by members that many of the exact details of the dissolution of the association have yet to be worked out. It remains to be seen if members will vote in favor of dissolving the umbrella sports body in September, though there has been little to suggest any other outcome.