Ricci Bitti elected new head of sports in­dus­try con­ven­tion

The China Post - - SPORTS -

In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Francesco Ricci Bitti is tak­ing over as head of the SportAc­cord Con­ven­tion as the con­fer­ence looks for a host next year to re­place Sochi.

Ricci Bitti was elected on Thurs­day as the new pres­i­dent of the an­nual sports in­dus­try con­fer­ence that draws hun­dreds of del­e­gates from around the world.

The con­ven­tion is or­ga­nized by um­brella body SportAc­cord, which rep­re­sents Olympic and non-Olympic fed­er­a­tions.

Mar­ius Vizer re­signed re­cently as head of both SportAc­cord and SportAc­cord Con­ven­tion af­ter fac­ing a re­volt from fed­er­a­tions over his at­tacks on the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee.

Ricci Bitti, who was one of Vizer’s most out­spo­ken crit­ics, will step down as ITF pres­i­dent in Septem­ber af­ter four terms in of­fice, but the 73-year-old Ital­ian will con­tinue as head of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Sum­mer Olympic In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tions.

“The SportAc­cord Con­ven­tion has be­come a ma­jor event in the in­ter­na­tional sport­ing cal­en­dar, not only for the sports move­ment but also for the in­dus­try,” Ricci Bitti said in a state­ment. “I have al­ways been one of its great­est sup­port­ers.”

Swiss IOC mem­ber and In­ter­na­tional Skiing Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Gian-Franco Kasper was cho­sen last week as in­terim pres­i­dent of SportAc­cord, pend­ing elec­tions this year.

This month, the IOC sus­pended recog­ni­tion and fund­ing for SportAc­cord, and called on the fed­er­a­tions to re­vamp the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Vizer was forced to step down af­ter more than a dozen fed­er­a­tions sus­pended or cut ties with SportAc­cord fol­low­ing his sting­ing crit­i­cism of the IOC and Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach at the con­ven­tion in Sochi in April.

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