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World Armwrestling Federation set to create landmark for GAISF

The World Armwrestling Federation (WAF) is poised to become the first International Federation (IF) to transition from observer member status of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) to full membership, it was announced today (Tuesday).

The WAF was recommended for full membership by the GAISF Council, which met in Lausanne, and will be considered for approval by a vote of members at April’s GAISF General Assembly in Bangkok.

The WAF is led by president Assen Hadjitodorov and was founded in 1977. Its 2018 world championships will take place in Antalya, Turkey later this year. WAF was among the first group of IFs granted GAISF observer member status in October. It has subsequently succeeded in achieving the necessary criteria and, if successful, will become the first to complete the journey to full membership.

Patrick Baumann, president of GAISF, said: “The Council’s decision to recommend WAF for full membership is an important milestone for GAISF as they would become the first IF to complete the journey from observer to member.

“It is concrete evidence that the pathway established through the hard work of our Membership Commission, chaired by Mr. Antonio Espinos along with vice-presidents Dr. Raffaele Chiulli (president of ARISF) and Mr. Stephan Fox (president of AIMS), can be followed by determined IFs and that it works well for both the federation and GAISF’s entire membership.”

The General Assembly will also vote on a proposal to grant associate membership to the World Union of Olympic Cities, the body which seeks to ensure a continued Olympic legacy by uniting former host cities. The City of Lausanne and its mayor chair this Union, which was created in 2002.

Finally, GAISF’s Council has approved applications from the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) and International Padel Federation (FIP) for observer member status.

RLIF and FIP become the eighth and ninth observer members of GAISF and, like the others, will now embark on a process of assessment and verification which – for those that satisfy all criteria – may lead to full membership. This requires resolving any perceived rivalry issues with existing members before going through a vote at a future GAISF General Assembly.

Observer member status allows IFs to be part of the GAISF network, take part in activities including the annual IF Forum and to attend the General Assembly, although they have no vote. This status is valid for two years.