IPC rejects call for additional Tokyo 2020 sport, approves new members

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has rejected a proposal to consider a 23rd sport for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, but has added four new international federations as members.

The decisions were made as the IPC held its 17th General Assembly in Mexico City on Sunday. A motion put forward by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) for the IPC Governing Board to consider a 23rd sport for Tokyo 2020 was defeated.

CPISRA had put forward the motion following the exclusion of seven-a-side football from the programme for the summer Games. In January, the IPC announced the addition of a further six sports to the Tokyo 2020 programme.

Following the October 2014 ratification of 16 sports for Tokyo 2020, the IPC elected to defer a final decision on a remaining eight sports that aimed to be part of the Games until its January meeting. A maximum of 23 sports could have been included for 2020, but the IPC elected to proceed with 22.

This meant that while canoe, cycling, football five-a-side, judo, taekwondo and wheelchair fencing were added to the programme, football seven-a-side and sailing were dropped. Both sports are set to feature on the programme for the Rio 2016 Games. January’s decision meant taekwondo will join badminton as one of two new sports to feature at Tokyo 2020.

In other news from Sunday’s meeting, the IPC General Assembly approved the membership of nine new organisations, five of which were National Paralympic Committees (NPCs).  They are the NPCs of Aruba, Yemen, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Guinea Bissau and Somalia.

Four International Federations – World Taekwondo Federation, International Sailing Federation, International Federation of CP Football and Badminton World Federation – were also approved as IPC members.

It was also agreed to terminate the membership of the NPCs of Bangladesh, Somalia, Albania and Peru because of either their inactivity or a suspension that exceeds more than four consecutive years.

During the full-day event, the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code was also approved. Effective from January 1, 2017, the IPC said the new Code is more athlete focussed and accessible. More than 2,700 comments were received during three rounds of consultation with stakeholders which started in June 2013.

During the morning session, IPC president Sir Philip Craven (pictured) presented the IPC’s Biennial Report which highlighted the growth and breadth of the Paralympic Movement’s work in the last two years.

Craven said: “Together, we must deliver a hugely successful Paralympic Games in Rio next year and show to the world that Beijing 2008 and London 2012 were not exceptions, but the norm. We must also continue to engage more people around the world in the Paralympic Movement, either as participants in para-sport, TV viewers at home or spectators in venues.

“Only by more people getting involved in what we do and what we deliver on a daily basis can we help fulfil the IPC aspiration: ‘To make for a more inclusive society for people with an impairment through para-sport.’”