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FISU becomes founding member of International Federation for Sports Officials

FISU 21 March 2019

Continuing with its commitment to good governance in sport, the International University Sports Federation has become a founding member of the newly-formed International Federation for Sport Officials (IFSO).


The IFSO was officially created on 8 March 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands, and the first general assembly took place immediately thereafter, at the Peace Palace (right), the headquarters of the International Court of Justice.


The IFSO aims to bring together a global family of referees and umpires to share best practices and develop ideas that will benefit the entire sport community, with emphasis on gender equality and the inclusion of young professionals.


Five National Olympic Committees are among the 20 founding members which also include other International Sports Federations such as the World Rafting Federation and the Union Cycliste Internationale.


Frenchman Patrick Vajda, a former member of the International Fencing Federation Refereeing Commission and a member of the IOC’s Athletes’ Entourage Commission, was chosen as President of the 12-member Board of Directors.


FISU Secretary General-CEO, Eric Saintrond FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond is a member of the Board and believes that this organization will provide much-needed validation for referees and umpires.


“With more than 60 sports on our programme, it’s natural for FISU to support this organization,” says Saintrond. “The IFSO is not a professional association for referees, umpires and judges. In fact, it is a platform for education and improvement, and for creating a community for these professionals who are an integral part of the sports world. Along with athletes, they are among the most crucial people when it comes to results, competition and ethics. They must get their due respect and recognised status.”


England’s Janie Frampton, a former Football Association national referee manager for education and training, is the vice-president of the new Federation, while French ice hockey referee Charlotte Girard is the Secretary General.


The IFSO aspires to be acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).