Dubai is among cities mooted to bid for the 2016 SportAccord Convention ©SportAccord Convention

Dubai is among cities bidding for the 2016 SportAccord Convention, the organisation's managing director Nis Hatt has confirmed, with the event set to be at a lower scale than other recent editions with a maximum of 2,000 delegates attending.

Hatt explained how Dubai is "in the loop" in terms of hosting the event, but claimed a final decision has not yet been made.

They are aiming to make a final announcement during October, although are being careful not to rush the process.

"We are delighted with the level of interest from all over the world," Hatt told insidethegames this morning, adding that it would "not be appropriate" to reveal other contenders at this stage.

This comes as the Convention seeks to resurect itself following this year's fallout between former SportAccord President Marius Vizer and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Vizer used the General Assembly of this year's Convention to strongly criticise the IOC and its President Thomas Bach, swiftly prompting 22 Olympic and seven non-Olympic sports to withdraw or suspend their SportAccord membership.

The IOC, International Paralympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Federation and bodies recognising Summer Olympic, Winter Olympic and IOC Recognised sports all "disaffiliated their association", throwing the entire future of the body into doubt, while Russia also withdrew from hosting up to the next five editions of the annual convention.

It is hoped the 2016 SportAccord Convention will return to its roots and take place in a
It is hoped the 2016 SportAccord Convention will return to its roots and take place in a "confined" environment ©SportAccord Convention

But, following Vizer's resignation in May, there has been a growing determination to resurect the event, of which SportAccord held a 45 per cent stake, with Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti appointed Convention President to work with Hatt and his team.

Ricci Bitti last week stood down as President of the International Tennis Federation, vowing to now focus upon his responsibilites within the Olympic world.

Hatt, who has served in his current role since 2012, emphasised how relations with all the constituent bodies that represent International Federations are strong, as well as with the IOC itself.

The "highest level" of the IOC, consisting of Bach and other members of the senior leadership, are expected to attend the 2016 event, set to be held in the second half of April.

No decision has been made on whether the IOC Executive Board will hold a meeting during the week-long event, something that had previously happened at each edition until being scrapped this year.

But following a well-publicised plan to increase the scope of the event under Vizer, Hatt has now pledged to return it to how it was "around the time of the 2012 edition in Quebec", with a maximum of 2,000 delegates attending.

This will "allow the intimacy of delegates and a confined environment".

SportAccord Convention is entering a new era under the Presidency of Francesco Ricci Bitti ©ITG
SportAccord Convention is entering a new era under the Presidency of Francesco Ricci Bitti ©ITG

Seeking to be a "unique platform" for the sports world to come together, the Convention should still consist of commercial and exhibition areas, as well as a series of panel discussions and other features such as LawAccord and MediaAccord.

General Assemblies of SportAccord as well as of ASOIF, the Association of Winter Olympic International Federations and the Association of IOC Recognised International Federations are also expected to remain.

New features are also planned, Hatt added to insidethegames, aimed more specifically at the needs of the IFs.

This could include elements such as a presentation on how to utilise social media platforms to help publicise the governing body, something that could benefit those representing the biggest sports like athletics and football as well as ones representing smaller non-Olympic ones, it is hoped.

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