A rare act of resistance: Harald Vervaecke’s furious letter to all world sport federations

"The IOC is not the official body representing sport", writes the Secretary General of a non-Olympic federation. This letter can be seen as a direct attack on the IOC leadership. It is tantamount to blasphemy. However, the fight against the dissolution of the GAISF comes too late.

President Ivo Ferriani, former CEO Nis Hatt. (Photo: GAISF)
President Ivo Ferriani, former CEO Nis Hatt. (Photo: GAISF)

Belgian Harald Vervaecke, Secretary General of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS), today wrote a letter to all members of the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF). It is a rare act of resistance in the Olympic (and also non-Olympic) world run with a heavy hand by the IOC. GAISF members are just arriving in Lausanne, where the so-called IF Forum will take place on Monday and the GAISF General Assembly on Tuesday. The GAISF meeting is expected to decide to dissolve the once proud and important body and affiliate it to SportAccord, the previous business arm of GAISF.

Absurd. Insane. Dubious.

Harald Vervaecke fights against it – and thus automatically against the IOC deity Thomas Bach. Because that is how it is read in Lausanne.

There are several extraordinary remarkable details in Vervaecke’s letter. For example, this statement:

"The IOC is not the official organ that represents the Sports. … The IOC is a Global Multi-Sport Games Organiser. The Olympic Games are the largest multi-sport event in the world in terms of worldwide interest and importance (though not in participation)."

This is also remarkable because the IOC and its allies, for example, in their lobbying for the European sports model, have presented it as if grassroots sport would not exist without the Olympic Games and the IOC marketing.

This is one of the great untruths of the present, and should probably even be labelled a deliberate lie.

In his letter, Harald Vervaecke indirectly addresses some points of the research I published a week ago (World sports federations may give up their own independent platform), well documented with videos and numerous internal documents.

In it I revealed that GAISF President Ivo Ferriani (also an IOC member) was internally threatening to march out with all Olympic sports federations (summer ASOIF and winter AIOWF) and go through with the split if the election was lost.

In it, I had also revealed that Ferriani constantly refers to talks with his boss Thomas Bach and, among other things, holds out the prospect of additional compensation for top officials in the future.

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This was not known in the GAISF family until now and rightly causes irritation. My article and the videos were studied carefully at IOC headquarters.