International Federation for Sports Officials (IFSO) established in the Hague



International Federation for Sports Officials (IFSO) established in the Hague

On 8 March 2019, the Peace Palace in The Hague held the founding meeting of the International Federation for Sports Officials (IFSO). This new sports federation will be established and hosted in The Hague and is committed to raise worldwide awareness for referees and judges and to promote the development of arbitration in sports.

This has been achieved thanks to direct support from the municipality of The Hague and the Dutch Olympic Committee NOC*NSF, in collaboration with AFCAM (the French association of 246,000 referees and judges). The initiative was supported and locally coordinated by SportVibes, a sports marketing agency based in The Netherlands.

The new International Federation IFSO becomes the meeting place for all governing bodies in sport (international sports federations, national Olympic committees, multi-sports international federations, national referee federations) dealing with issues surrounding referees and jury members. IFSO is not a union and does not interfere with issues of individual members.

Patrick Vajda, the first President of IFSO: “Without the direct support of the city of The Hague and NOC*NSF, the creation would not have been realized yet. I am therefore particularly grateful for their efforts, as well as the 21 (inter)national governing bodies in sports that have been able to cooperate from the outset. I am also very proud to have at my side a board of 6 women and 5 men who are all representatives from various governing bodies in sport. Our goal is to share best practice cases, to dwell on developments such as technology and media and to discuss new ideas and legislation with the aim to improve the professional life of referees and judges. This is in the interest of the entire sports world and not of a single sport federation or union. It should become clear that without referees there is no sport”.

Richard De Mos, alderman for sports in The Hague: “The city of The Hague has been profiling for decades as the international city of peace and justice. In addition, we are conducting a very proactive sports policy and in the year 2022, we are chosen as the European Capital of Sport. With the arrival of IFSO to The Hague, these matters come together.  Therefore, we are particularly proud to facilitate this important international federation in our city in the coming years”.

Gerard Dielessen, Directeur NOC*NSF: “In the Netherlands the various sports federations of all kinds of sports have been cooperating intensively for years in the development of arbitration. This is paying off. We are pleased that with the creation of IFSO we are now also getting a worldwide platform. After all, sports can learn a lot from each other. Therefore, NOC*NSF wholeheartedly supports IFSO. “

Founding Members of IFSO:

  • National Olympic Committees: Belgium; Djibouti; Hungary; Netherland; Vanuatu
  • Olympic Sports Federations: Bobsleigh and Skeleton (IBSF); Cycling (UCI); Field Hockey (EHF)
  • Non-Olympic Sports Federations: Savate (FISAV); Squash (WS); Kick Boxing (AFRICA); Kick Boxing (ASIA); Sambo (FIAS); Wushu (IWUF); Sports De Boules (CMSB); Rafting (IRF)
  • Multisports International Federations: FISU; ISF
  • National Multisports Referee Associations: AFCAM; SOUK
  • Associate Member: Paint Ball

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