The EGM and IF Forum will take place at the Hotel Royal Savoy in Lausanne ©Hotel Royal Savoy

A crucial moment in the history of SportAccord is set to take place here tomorrow with an Extraordinary General Meeting at which a proposed merger with SportAccord Convention will be discussed, followed by the opening of the ninth International Federations (IF) Forum.

Taking place at the Hotel Royal Savoy, the EGM will approve new statutes sent out to members last month, as well as the future path of the body following a controversial year. 

This began with August's annual Convention in Sochi, where former President Marius Vizer launched a controversial attack on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its President Thomas Bach, swiftly prompting 22 Olympic and seven non-Olympic sports to withdraw or suspend their SportAccord membership.

Vizer resigned in May, with International Ski Federation President Gian-Franco Kasper having since been appointed as his replacement on an interim basis as the future course of the body is planned.

Organising the annual SportAccord Convention and IF Forum have been proposed as functions if the merger is approved tomorrow, while providing services for the IFs which does "not involve duplication of those provided by other stakeholders" will also be considered.

This could include the Doping Free Sport Unit under which various Federations orchestrate their work against illegal drug use in sport.

Facilitating the "organisation of multi-sport events as appropriate" could also be considered, such as the World Mind Games, first held in 2011 in Beijing, and, possibly, the World Combat Games, for which Lima withdrew its hosting rights for the proposed 2017 edition earlier this year.

Some have since suggested there is no need for SportAccord, with many of its functions supposedly duplicating those undertaken by other bodies.

An agenda for tomorrow's meeting sent to delegates last month ©ITG
An agenda for tomorrow's meeting sent to delegates last month ©ITG

With so many revelations rocking IFs in recent days, however, including the damning claims against the International Association of Athletics Associations (IAAF) included within the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report which has overshadowed the build-up to tomorrow's meeting, others believe there remains a need for umbrella organisations such as SportAccord. 

The ninth edition of the Forum will be opened with a welcome by Bach before an opening address by SportAccord Convention and Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

"The IF Forum has always provided an ideal opportunity for Olympic and non-Olympic International Sport Federations to meet and share ideas for the betterment of sport," said Ricci Bitti, who stood down as President of the International Tennis Federation last month.

"We have helped to prepare this year’s programme which reflects what is high up on the IFs’ agendas.

"I believe everybody understands that good governance, integrity and sustainability need to be deep-seated in a federation’s philosophy and operations, and the forum will offer tools and practical solutions on how to make that happen.”

A keynote address will be given by News Corp Global Head of Rights, Simon Greenberg, at the opening tomorrow, as well as a speech by Lausanne Municipal Councilor Marc Vuilleumier.

Plenary sessions will then tackle themes including: "Implementing Good Governance", "Accountability through Transparency", "Democratic Decision-Making", "Preventing Competition Manipulation" and "Olympic Agenda 2020 Sustainability and Legacy Introduction".

Conclusions from "recent research" conducted by ASOIF will also be on the programme, along with presentations and round table discussions focused on "An exchange of IF Practice".

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