The future of SportAccord led discussions at today's ASOIF and IOC meeting ©ITG

SportAccord and SportAccord Convention are to be amalgamated into one organisation, Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti revealed here today.

Ricci Bitti also promised that only "realistic and useful" projects not already undertaken by another body to be pursued.

It follows the controversy at this year's SportAccord Convention in Sochi when International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach was criticised by Marius Vizer. 

A total of 22 Olympic and seven non-Olympic sports resigned or suspended their membership following the speech, forcing to Vizer resign on May 31.

Speaking today in the first official meeting between ASOIF and the IOC since April, Ricci Bitti revealed the two bodies are not yet combined into one due to "legal difficulties" but they hope this will happen by the end of the year.

There has been much cooperation between ASOIF and the Association of Winter Olympic International Federations (AWOIF), the Ricci Bitti claimed.

He has taken responsibility for the Convention while AWOIF counterpart Gian Franco Kasper is leading SportAccord on an interim basis.

All nine SportAccord Convention staff have been retained in order to organise next year's event, for which they have had "interest" from multiple but as of yet unspecified countries.

Of the 25 SportAccord staff who worked under Vizer, however, only eight have been retained, of which four are working on anti-doping services.

Sport Accord's director general Vlad Marinescu is among those to have left the organisation, as first revealed last month by insidethegames

"We are working very hard and are looking forward to next step," Ricci Bitti said to representatives from all 28 International Federations.

"I don't know if it can be called SportAccord, but the SportAccord Convention will definitely remain.

"It is important we have a table and forum for debate, but with different frames and objective.

 "Progress has been very fast and effective until now and we hope to continue to work and to solve the problem this year."

Marius Vizer was absent for today's meeting, but the legacy of his words in April still loomed large over proceedings ©SportAccord
SportAccord and SportAccord Convention are set to be merged into one body as a result of the resignation of Marius Vizer following his controversial speech in Sochi earlier this year ©SportAccord

Ricci Bitti was speaking alongside Bach, who joked that he hoped he would get a better welcome today than when he last addressed the International Federations in Sochi.

"Having one organisation will make it easier to address all the relevant issues," Bach said.

"It doesn’t make sense for someone to try and get in between of us.

"It makes things more time consuming and difficult."

One area for further discussion concerns multi-sport Games.

SportAccord previously organised both the World Combat Games and World Mind Games, and had planned to launch a World Beach Games.

With Sochi having withdrawn from hosting the first Beach Games and Lima having done likewise for the 2017 World Combat Games, it appears these two events will cease to exist.

Ricci Bitti claimed, though, that if Federations wanted the new body could still help organise such events on behalf of the Federations.

Bach, however, warned such events must "coordinate with the calendar" and "have a solid financial foundation", but also respect the "uniqueness of the Olympic Games".

This means that "in principle there would be no Olympics disciplines", although non-Olympic events within Olympic sports would supposedly be permitted. 

More precise details, as well as a 2016 Convention host, are expected to be announced at the International Federation Forum due to take place from November 11 to 13 at the Royal Savoy Hotel in Lausanne.

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