(ATR) Amid a wave of withdrawals from the 2017 World Combat Games, Marius Vizer has restated his commitment to the project.
Marius Vizer wants to calm fears over the SportAccord World Combat Games. (ATR)
Wrestling and taekwondo last week followed boxing in pulling out of the Lima-hosted event following Vizer’s outspoken attack on the IOC and Thomas Bach at the SportAccord Convention in Sochi.
The international federations also suspended their membership of SportAccord, the umbrella association of Olympic and non-Olympic federations run by Vizer.
Vizer today sought to calm fears about the staging of the World Combat Games while underlining the revenue benefits for participating federations.
Three other Olympic sports - fencing, judo and weightlifting - participate in the combat games. It is unclear whether fencing and weightlifting will also join the federations who have dropped out. Judo’s participation is not in doubt as its governing body is run by Vizer.
In an effort to encourage the other 12 participating federations not to join the exodus from the Lima event, Vizer issued a statement insisting the 2017 Peruvian edition would be the biggest yet. He said it would offer greater returns for the IFs in terms of global exposure and revenues.
“The value of such revenues in the original agreement is over $20 million, including dividends that will be paid to all participating IFs, their respective sports, but more importantly also to athletes via prize money: athletes whose participation, travel and accommodation are covered by the event,” he said.
The controversial SportAccord chief thanked Jose Quiniones, head of the 2017 Combat Games, and Lima “for their solidarity towards and support of sport”.
“We are sure that together, while generating huge exposure for Lima and combat sports, we will attract youth to further participate in and learn from the values and principles of sport,” Vizer added.
Quiniones, president of the Peruvian National Olympic Committee, has yet to issue a statement.
Jose Quinones (ATR)
Having staged two successful editions of the World Combat Games in Beijing in 2010 and St. Petersburg in 2013, SportAccord emphasized in its statement that the project had been conceptualized, initiated, delivered and developed further with the cooperation and participation of all SportAccord members.
SportAccord said its leadership had held intensive discussions with the original 15 participating IFs in Sochi during the SportAccord Convention.
“The results of all these discussions were positive and encouraging with unanimous expressions of support for the event,” SportAccord said.
“The international federations agreed that the event provided them with a platform to promote their sports on a global level and motivation to their respective athletes to aspire to excellence and recognition.”
The statement added: “During these meetings, it was also agreed that Peru would implement a grassroots development program for all participating sports, which would be of mutual benefit to all involved, apart from allowing the IFs to initiate their own grassroots projects.”
World Urban Games
There is still no word from SportAccord about the host city for the World Urban Games or the state of preparations for the inaugural event slated to be held in 2016.
SportAccord has not responded to several requests from ATR
for information about the status of these games, raising questions about the project.
Four Olympic sports are listed as participants – basketball, cycling, hockey and modern pentathlon.
The respective IFs were among 27 members of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations who put their signatures to a letter denouncing Vizer’s anti-IOC comments last month and supporting ASOIF’s decision to suspend its association with SportAccord.
Reported by Mark Bisson
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