Friday, April 26, 2013

SPORTACCORD: Bernard Lapasset to Stand Against Marius Vizer for SportAccord Presidency

Bernard Lapasset. (Getty Images)
(ATR) International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset today announced his candidacy for the presidency of SportAccord. He will stand against Marius Vizer in next month's elections. 

Lapasset declared his candidacy in a letter sent to the 107 member federations of SportAccord and outgoing president Hein Verbruggen.

Brett Gosper, general secretary of the IRB, said he had "the honor to nominate and propose the candidature of our President, Mr.Bernard Lapasset for the position of SportAccord President at the next election".

In his 14-page candidature, Lapasset sets out his wealth of experience in sports administration, which includes a period as vice-president of the French Olympic Committee.

Lapasset, IRB president since 2007, played a lead role in rugby's successful Olympic campaign, with Rugby Sevens to make its debut at Rio 2016.

Hein Verbruggen has led SportAccord since 2004. (ATR)
The IRB chief sets out vision for SportAccord in four points: to place SportAccord at the heart of the values of the sport movement; support a strong vision of the practices of international sport; reinforce the unity of international sport families while maintaining their diversity; and guarantee a stable economic environment as federations face new economic changes

His strategic priorities include promoting the positive dimension of sport in society, stepping up the fight against doping and match-fixing and illegal betting and improving services to federations to help improve their governance.

Lapasset proposes launching a SportAccord Academy to "develop expertise and innovate in the federations’ field... and ontribute to debate and participate in the evolution of international sport" as well as a SportAccord Festival "to connect together different sport cultures and to see included other forms 
Marius Vizer. (ATR)
of activities adapted to a diverse audience".

"My aim is to make SportAccord an indispensible partner for your federations, working with them to develop and grow," he says in his mission statement.

"SportAccord needs to position itself as a top-level organisation, providing support to its members and working alongside them, as an active contributor, towards the realisation of mutual and defined goals."

Other candidates for the SportAccord presidency have yet to come forward.

President of the World Karate Federation, Antonio Espinos, was rumored to be a potential candidate but he said to Around the Rings he will not be a candidate. “I 
Jan Fransoo. (IKF)
don’t intend to run,” the Spaniard said. 

“I think that Marius Vizer is a good candidate that can bring some light on the shadows that SportAccord has been showing in the past years. I’m really happy about the opportunity of somebody like Marius Vizer as a candidate.”

ATR understands that Jan Fransoo, head of the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations, which comprises 32 members, has also been ruled out as a contender to succeed Hein Verbruggen.

Verbruggen steps down when his term ends in May at the SportAccord convention in St. Petersburg.

Vizer, the International Judo Federation president, told ATR last week that he believed he had the backing of the majority of the 107 Olympic and non-Olympic federations who make up SportAccord’s membership.

“Yes, I am confident that today I have the vote,” he said.

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