In the Sports Committee of the German Bundestag: IFA President suggests better integration, networking and financial support for the international work of non-Olympic associations

Berlin (hib/HAU) German sports policy lacks a structural approach to better assert German interests at the level of world sports federations. This was made clear by Thomas Konietzko, President of the International Canoe Federation (ICF), Jörn Verleger, President of the International Fistball Association (IFA), Ingo Weiss, Treasurer of the World Basketball Federation (FIBA) and sports scientist Professor Jürgen Mittag from the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS), who were invited to a public meeting of the Sports Committee of the German Bundestag on Wednesday.

ICF President Konietzko said to the MPs: “You must decide whether you prioritize the representation of Germans on the committees differently in the future.” This would require appropriate political decisions “so that in future it is no longer dependent on chance that Germans can assume high offices in sport”.

The path to the presidency of an international sports organization usually requires a combination of experience, network, commitment and personal qualities, said sports scientist Jürgen Mittag. In addition to holding other leadership positions, establishing strategic alliances and gaining support through a consensus-based program of one’s own are decisive factors in the bid.

Jörn Verleger, President of the International Fistball Association (IFA), who is also a member of the informal group of so-called “International Germans” established by the German Olympic Committee (DOSB), presented the perspective of a non-Olympic association. So far, however, the circle of ” International Germans ” has not been considered in a targeted manner, for example via an invitation distribution list maintained by the DOSB and taken into account by the associations at events. “This means that opportunities are missed,” said Verleger. This applies in particular to non-Olympic sport and its indirect opportunities to exert influence. It is striking that other nations are much better at “placing national representatives at international level and supporting each other in this work”.