(ATR) The biggest annual meeting involving the Olympic family is postponed by one year.
The general assembly for the Association of National Olympic Committees is canceled for this year, scheduled for Seoul, South Korea.
The meeting was planned for the end of November. ANOChas met twice before in Seoul, in 1986 and 2006.
The general assembly usually attracts at least two delegates from each of the 206 National Olympic Committees, along with representatives from upcoming Olympics and other multi sports events. The IOC Executive Board often will meet on the sidelines. Some meetings have drawn upwards of 1000 or more attendees.
The cancellation of the meeting is not surprising given the collapse of plans for sport events and large-scale meetings in this year of the corona pandemic. This includes the now postponed Tokyo Olympics and the IOC Session which was to be held on the eve of the Games.
"We are of course disappointed that we will not be hosting our General Assembly this year, but we believe that given the current global circumstances, it is the right decision to take. We would like to thank our partners at the Korean Sports and Olympic Committee for all their hard work and for the flexibility they have shown. We will continue to work closely with the KSOC and look forward to welcoming the world’s NOCs to Seoul in 2021," says acting ANOC president Robin Mitchell.
One immediate difficultyfacing organization of the assembly in Seoul are the measures being taken by South Korea to prevent further outbreaks of the coronavirus. Among them is a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors entering the country. While that restriction could change by the time of the assembly, if it were still in place in November, travel to South Korea by many would not be possible.
Mitchell says the meeting will now take place in 2021, still hosted by the KOSC.
"ANOC is currently assessing alternative options for ensuring NOCs are provided with the opportunities to express their ideas and opinions and receive all the necessary reports and updates they would have been presented at this year’s General Assembly," says a statement from the association.
The ANOC assembly would have been the first large-scale meeting among the Olympic Family since the cascade of event cancellations started in February. SportAccord, the international federation gathering first planned in Beijing and then moved to Lausanne ended up canceled. International federations in particular have had to conduct their business by teleconference. The IOC has held executive board meetings in the same manner and the IOC session that was set for Tokyo in July will become a one-day digital meeting instead of the three days set for Tokyo.
Continental associations Panam Sports, the Olympic Council of Asia and the European Olympic Committees still are planning to hold their annual meetings in the third quarter of this year in a traditional manner.
Reported byEd Hula. For general comments or questions,click here.