The International Teqball Federation (FITEQ) has been granted Observer Status by the Global Association of International Sports Federations Council (GAISF) following a meeting on 10 January.
GAISF Observer Status grants international federations access to the GAISF General Assembly and the opportunity to take advantage of the GAISF network. GAISF made the decision to introduce Observer Status in 2017 to provide new sports with a stepping-stone on the path to fulfilling all of the criteria to eventually achieve full membership.
GAISF works with observer federations to ensure they meet the required criteria, such as becoming compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), and assists them on growing their members around the world and receiving the required recognitions by National Olympic Committees or by the highest national sports authorities.
A statement from FITEQ said the decision reflected the growth and professionalisation of the sport of teqball and the fact that there are now 45 international teqball federations established across all five continents.
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Teqball is a sport that resembles table tennis played with a ball similar to a football. The sport can be played in singles or doubles format by returning the ball over the specially designed ‘curved’ table.
GAISF president Raffaele Chiulli, said: “I am delighted that the GAISF Council granted Observer Status to FITEQ and the innovative and dynamic sport of teqball. With Observer Status, teqball, which featured as part of the cultural programme for the recent GAISF World Urban Games in Budapest, will continue to develop for the benefit of all its stakeholders. I look forward to watching teqball grow and have no doubt that GAISF can help FITEQ develop its sport globally.”
Established in April 2017, FITEQ is the governing body presiding over all matters relating to the sport.
In January, the FITEQ Executive Board appointed Marius Vizer Jr., the son of influential sports executive Marius Vizer, to be its general secretary.
Vizer Jr. has been at the heart of teqball’s development in recent years, travelling to 25 countries in the past 12 months to help promote the sport and establish new national federations.
“We are delighted to achieve the GAISF Observer Status. We are still a young sport and are very grateful to the GAISF family for their guidance and for accepting our ideas,” he said.
“On behalf of FITEQ, I would like to thank everyone involved in this journey so far, in particular the national federations who have been instrumental in the global growth of teqball. We are determined to use the momentum of this landmark to make 2020 another record-breaking year and continue to introduce teqball to people around the world.”
FITEQ, which was co-founded by Hungarian business magnate György Gattyán, has promoted itself heavily in recent years, signing up top retired football stars such as Luis Figo and Christian Karembeu to showcase the sport. It has established offices in Lausanne and Budapest.