WFDF officials have meetings in St. Petersburg (Russia) and Japan
The SportAccord General Assembly on May 31 elected Marius L. Vizer (President of the International Judo Federation) as the new President of SportAccord. Vizer, a Romanian-born Hungarian, succeeds Hein Verbruggen, who decided to step down as President after 11 years. Mr. Vizer received 52 votes of the 89 votes cast and his opponent Bernard Lapasset (Chairman of the International Rugby Union) 37. Vizer won on a platform of transforming SportAccord into a “more powerful” and “lucrative” body, with a ''United World Championships'' being the centerpiece of his program. Per Vizer’s plan, this event will be held every four years for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports. Vizer said he plans to organize the first event in 2017 and hopes all 91 member federations take part.
SportAccord, the former General Assembly of International Sports Federations (GAISF), is the umbrella organization for both Olympic and non-Olympic international sports federations as well as organizations hosting international multi-sports events. SportAccord has 93 Full Members (international sports federations governing specific sports worldwide) and 16 Associate Members (organizations which conduct activities closely related to the international sports federations). WFDF has been a full member of SportAccord since 1995.
Photo (from left to right): Marius L. Vizer, new Sportaccord President, Robert “Nob” Rauch, WFDF President, and Volker Bernardi, WFDF Executive Director
WFDF had met with both candidates, Mr. Vizer and Mr. Lapasset, at the annual SportAccord convention in St. Petersburg prior to the election. During the meetings the candidates had provided an outline of their background and experience and given us an overview of their plans. “The General Assembly of Sportaccord had to decide between two very capable candidates for the Presidency. WFDF welcomes the election of Marius Vizer as President of Sportaccord and we are looking forward to working with him on the improvement of the opportunities for international sports federations,” commented WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch. “The plans of the new President to raise the profile of the non-Olympic sports sound particularly interesting.”
Mr. Vizer had another opportunity to meet with a WFDF representative during his trip to Japan on June 9-11. Mr. Fumio Morooka, long-time WFDF board member and former Sportaccord Council member, was asked by the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) to work with Mr. Vizer on their behalf and assist with the press conference and reception. Mr. Morooka also serves as President of the Asia Flying Disc Federation (AFDF).
Photo (from left to right): Fumio “Moro” Morooka, JFDA/AFDF President, Marius L. Vizer, Sportaccord President and Masakazu Honda, JFDA Board member.
Mr. Vizer has served as President of the International Judo Federation (IJF) since 2007 and is responsible for developing the World Judo Tour, cementing the sport's place as an integral sport at the Olympics, securing significant broadcast media and sponsorship, and initiating rule changes to make the sport more appealing to a wider audience.