Global sports organizer tells members it wants to shut down

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — An organization of more than 100 Olympic and non-Olympic sports bodies has told members it is preparing to shut itself down within months.

The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) also organizes multi-sport events — including the World Urban Games and World Combat Games — outside the formal control of the International Olympic Committee.

The future of GAISF’s sports events is unclear and the Lausanne-based organization did not immediately respond on Friday to requests to comment.

The letter, seen by The Associated Press, was sent by email to GAISF members detailing plans to dissolve their organization in May at an annual assembly in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

It was signed by newly elected GAISF president Ivo Ferriani who, since 2018, has been a member of the IOC executive board chaired by Thomas Bach.

IOC president Bach cautioned in April 2020 that a “proliferation of sports events” should be addressed, citing climate change and “financial pressure on all the stakeholders”

The GAISF letter came just days after bobsled official Ferriani was elected, telling members he looked forward “to support them over the next two years.”

The first World Urban Games was in 2019 and included Olympic sports 3×3 basketball, BMX and breakdance alongside non-Olympic events such as parkour and flying disk in Budapest, Hungary.

The World Combat Games – including several Olympic sports alongside others such as aikido and ju-jitsu – was first held in 2010. A 2023 edition is being prepared in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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