FIFA Bans Sepp Blatter Again - Federation Focus

Also: A third FIS presidential candidate; Matytsin steps aside at FISU: New AIBA secretary general; Curling secures host

(ATR) Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been banned for a second time by the governing body of world football for financial improprieties.

FIFA announced on Wednesday that its ethics committee had banned Blatter and former secretary general Jerome Valcke for six years and eight months after finding them guilty of breaches in the federation’s code of ethics tied to awarding themselves bonuses worth millions of dollars.

Blatter, who left his post in disgrace in 2015, is still serving a six year ban which expires on October 8, 2021. The second ban will go into effect at that point.

Blatter, who is 85, was put in an induced coma for a week last December following heart surgery. He also tested positive for COVID-19 late last year.

Valcke, 60, will not start serving his second ban until his first one ends on October 8, 2025.

FISU President Oleg Matytsin Steps Aside

The International University Sports Federation (FISU) will lose its president until December 17, 2022.

Oleg Matytsin, who is also the Russian Sports Minister, is stepping aside until then to abide by the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the WADA vs. RUSADA case.

CAS requires that for two years from last December no representatives of the Russian government may be appointed or sit as members of any boards or committees of any organization that has signed the World Anti-Doping Code.

FISU first vice-president Leonz Eder will handle presidential duties until Matytsin can return. Matytsin would then have a little less than a year left in his second four-year term, having been elected in November 2019.

"University sport has always had an exemplary approach to promoting clean sport and promoting clean athletes. Respect for the rules, for teammates and for opponents is also a key part of our work to ensure the leaders of tomorrow are shaped by their experiences of international university sport," said Matytsin in a statement.

Sweden'sMats Årjes Running for FIS President

Swedish Olympic Committee president Mats Årjes becomes the third candidate to join the race to replace Gian Franco Kasper as president of the International Ski Federation.

Årjes is a vice-president of FIS. He was nominated by the Swedish Ski Association, which he led for a decade until becoming Swedish NOC president in 2018. He was part of the leadership group in the unsuccessful effort to bring the 2026 Winter Olympics to Stockholm.

Johan Eliasch, the billionaire CEO of sporting goods giant Head, and Swiss Ski Federation president Urs Lehmann had previously been nominated to run for the FIS presidency.

Swedish-born, but holding dual citizenship with the United Kingdom, Eliasch was nominated by GB Snowsport. Lehmann was put forward as a candidate by the Swiss Ski Federation.

The election is scheduled for the FIS Congress in Portoroz, Slovenia on June 5.

Kasper announced in late 2019 his plans to step down in 2020, but he has stayed on for an extra year due to the pandemic twice forcing the postponement of the FIS Congress.

Kasper has been FIS president since 1998.

AIBA Appoints Secretary General

Two-time AIBA World Champion and Olympic champion István Kovács takes over running the day-to-day operations of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) this week.

The 50-year-old Hungarian was appointed as secretary general by the AIBA Board of Directors on March 22 after about a month-long search.

‘The fate of our organization has to be decided and will be decided by the boxers themselves," AIBA president Umar Kremlev said in announcing the decision, adding that for Kovács "boxing is life and AIBA is a family for him".

Kovács, in a statement, said "I see that the new AIBA leadership is heading in the right direction and is committed to working with full dedication to support and reinforce this course of positive change."

The secretary general’s role includes overseeing AIBA’s administrative staff and managing the AIBA head office. The boxing federation has not had anyone in charge of daily operations on a permanent basis since Tom Virgets of the USA was fired as executive director in August of 2019.

Host Secured for World Mixed Doubles Championship

The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021 will be held in a COVID-safe environment in Aberdeen, Scotland from May 17–23.

The World Curling Federation announced on Wednesday that the event at the Curl Aberdeen curling facility would be held under strict health protocols as required by the Scottish government.

The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021 serves as a qualifier for Beijing 2022, with the seven highest ranked National Olympic Committees gaining direct entry into the next Winter Games.

Earlier this month, the federation announced that the cancelled LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2021, originally scheduled for Schaffhausen, Switzerland from March 19–28, would be moved to Calgary, Canada and be played as part of the bubble that includes the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship 2021.

The men’s tournament runs from April 2-11 with the women’s to follow from April 30-May 9.

Both of the events are Beijing 2022 qualifiers.

Federation Focus is presented by the International Weightlifting Federation. Click here for more on the IWF.

Written by Gerard Farek

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