Infantino misses IOC cut, but Bach hints wait may soon be over

By David Owen

July 1 – International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has dropped a strong hint that the doors of sport’s most prestigious club might finally be opened to FIFA boss Gianni Infantino.

At the IOC’s 134th Session in Lausanne last week, as many as 10 new members were elected, taking the total number of full IOC members back into three figures at 105. However, none of these newcomers owed their induction to any role on an international sports federation (IF).

Asked about this afterwards, Bach responded: “We had a pretty unfortunate situation this year…For traditional reasons but also for other reasons we want to have the presidents of the biggest federations within the IOC and there we had this year a situation where the elections of the FIFA president and the elections of the IAAF [athletics] president overlapped with the deadlines we had to respect for proposals for membership in the IOC.

“Since we wanted to make this a well-balanced package, we came to the conclusion in consultation with ASOIF [the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations] that we are not proposing any IF candidate here at this election, but that we will come next year with a bigger number of IF representatives.”

Two IOC Sessions are expected to take place next year, one in Switzerland, the other in Japan, coinciding with the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

FIFA Council member Lydia Nsekera from Burundi has been an IOC member since 2009. Meanwhile, another African official, Issa Hayatou, continues to serve as an honorary IOC member, having ceased to be a full member in 2016, on attaining the applicable age limit.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter left the IOC in 2015.

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