Alisher Usmanov has been re-elected as president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), while the global governing body has also assigned hosting rights to its 2018 Cadet and Junior World Championships and 2019 Senior World Championships.
Usmanov (pictured), himself a former fencer, will serve a third term as president after being re-elected during the FIE’s Elective Congress meeting in Moscow. The Russian was the only candidate to stand at the meeting.
Billionaire Usmanov, who is also a major shareholder in English Premier League football club Arsenal, has invested a significant amount of his personal fortune into promoting fencing.
“It is a great honour for me to receive the backing of the entire world fencing community,” Usmanov said. “We remain committed to our programmes for developing fencing and growing its popularity around the world for the next four years. Our efforts will be focused on further improving the visual appeal and accessibility of our sport across all continents.”
Usmanov was first elected president in 2008 and his new four-year term will run through to the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic Games. His re-election comes after the FIE allowed Russia’s fencing team to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics in spite of the widespread, state-sponsored doping scandal that hit the country.
He added: “The Rio Olympics have truly brought fencing to new audiences. We intend to continue our work on modernising the rules and implementing new technologies, which will make fencing easier to follow and even more attractive to a wide audience.”
Meanwhile, the Italian city of Verona has been selected to stage the 2018 Cadet and Junior World Championships, with Budapest in Hungary having been chosen to host the Senior World Championships the following year.
The FIE’s Elective Congress meeting also saw the ratification of Haiti as a new member federation.