ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg said she anticipated three "very productive" days of meeting in the South Korean capital ©Getty Images

Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) secretary general Gunilla Lindberg has spoken of her delight at the arrival of sporting leaders from across the world here in preparation for the organisation's much-anticipated General Assembly.

Lingberg said she was looking forward to three "very productive" days of meetings in Seoul where National Olympic Committees (NOC) can "discuss, network and exchange information".

Representatives from NOCs have started to arrive in the South Korean capital prior to the key annual gathering that is set to run from Wednesday (October 19) to Friday (October 21).

The ANOC said it expected all 205 NOCs to be represented at the hybrid General Assembly with more than 190 due to be present at the COEX Convention Centre in Seoul and the rest participating remotely.

Russian Olympic Committee (NOC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has recently confirmed that he will be travelling to Seoul for the ANOC General Assembly, while the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus (NOCRB) has also been permitted to attend.

"We are delighted to welcome the world’s NOCs to Seoul and gather together once again for the ANOC General Assembly," said Lingberg.

"The ANOC General Assembly is the most important meeting for NOCs to discuss, network and exchange information.

"We are looking forward to a very productive three days ahead."

Speaking at the Olympic Council of Asia's General Assembly earlier this month, Lindberg said she anticipated 950 delegates to attend the key ANOC meeting with six NOCs joining virtually.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has confirmed that he will be heading to Seoul for the ANOC General Assembly ©Getty Images
ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has confirmed that he will be heading to Seoul for the ANOC General Assembly ©Getty Images

Confirmation by Pozdnyakov that the ROC will participate in-person has caused a stir among NOCs which are against Russian participation due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Both the ROC and NOCRB continue to be fully recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), meaning they are automatically members of ANOC and thus invited to attend the General Assembly.

The Nordic NOCs are among those that have criticised the presence of Russia and Belarus, while officials from Portugal and North Macedonia backed the ROC's arrival.

The ANOC General Assembly is set to be held on Wednesday (October 19) and Thursday (October 20) followed by interactive theme sessions on Friday (October 20).

ANOC said it decided to hold the General Assembly over three days instead of two after a questionnaire in 2020 revealed that 95 per cent of the NOCs were in favour of the meeting taking place every year and being as "interactive as possible".

Officials from the IOC, Organising Committees of the Olympic Games and International Federations are also due to attend, which ANOC claims is a "reflection of the unifying nature" of the General Assembly.

Robin Mitchell is set to be elected unopposed as ANOC President after being the only candidate nominated.

The Fijian official has been Acting President since Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah was charged with forgery in Switzerland in 2018.

Qatar Olympic Committee President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani is also poised to be elected as ANOC’s senior vice-president after no one opted to stand against him.

IOC President Thomas Bach is expected to deliver a keynote address on the opening day of the meeting, while the agenda is also set to feature reports from Olympic Games organisers including Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and Milan Cortina 2026.