SportAccord will change its name to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and adopt a two-year rotating presidency, it has announced during its general assembly.
Members of the umbrella organisation for all Olympic and non-Olympic international sporting federations voted unanimously in favour of the changes at the meeting, part of the SportAccord Convention in Aarhus, Denmark which closes today.
The adoption of the new name sees the body return to its previous acronym of GAISF, by which it was known until 2009, although its full title then was the General Association of International Sports Federations. Prior to this it had also been known as the General Assembly of International Sports Federations, until 1976.
According to a press release from GAISF, the name change was made to better reflect the organisation's remit and differentiate the association from SportAccord Convention.
The shift to a two-year presidency system, meanwhile, will see the presidency of GAISF alternate between Olympic and non-Olympic member federations, chosen from candidates presented by the individual umbrella groups – ARIFS, AIOWF, AIMS and ASOIF.
The intention is to ensure transparency, avoid instability and make sure all member federations are equally represented.
Other changes approved at the general assembly include creating an 'observer' status for federations wishing to become members of GAISF but who have not yet fulfilled the strict criteria for joining.
The combined changes represent something of a rebrand for the organisation after what has been a difficult few years, since the organisation's former president Marius Vizer made an inflamatory speech at the SportAccord Convention two years ago in Sochi, resulting in several federations withdrawing from the body in protest.
“I am delighted that my colleagues voted unanimously in support of these important changes which represent a real step forward and a significant milestone for our organisation," said GAISF president Patrick Bauman, who is also the secretary general of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba).
“These changes will have a significant beneficial impact. There will be a clear and supported route to membership of GAISF which will be better defined and have a universally understood role and objectives. It will be a transparent, stable and representative system of governance ensuring that it works effectively for the benefit of all members. With these changes we close the book on the past couple of years and are ready to be and act all together as One Voice For All Sport.”