SportAccord is expected to move from May to October ©SportAccord

This year’s SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit in Yekaterinburg, due to take place in May, is set to be postponed with the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) announcing today that it will hold its annual General Assembly in a virtual format.

The event is traditionally held alongside the SportAccord event but the coronavirus pandemic is set to lead to its postponement, insidethegames has been told with a new date of October being pencilled in.

An ASOIF statement following their first Council meeting of the year confirmed its General Assembly will be held virtually on June 8.

The General Assembly will feature the election of three ASOIF Council members.

The ASOIF Council has agreed on proposing statute amendments aimed at improving gender balance within the representation of International Federation (IF) delegates at the General Assembly.

The draft wording states that if any member federation intends to send the maximum number of three delegates to the ASOIF General Assembly, then both genders must be represented.

The ASOIF Council said it also discussed arrangements for the fourth review of IF governance and endorsed the launch of a pilot study on organisational culture within IFs.

"It’s important to have rules and regulations in place, but we all know that the behaviour and actions of people play a large role in how an organisation really functions," said Francesco Ricci Bitti, ASOIF President.

"Our new pilot study on organisational culture is a complex exercise but we are convinced that the outcomes will be highly beneficial to our member federations."

The latest developments for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were discussed, including the COVID-19 countermeasures playbook for International Federations, as well as ongoing efforts to find fair and practical solutions for the qualification process.

The ASOIF General Assembly is typically held as part of SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit ©Getty Images
The ASOIF General Assembly is typically held as part of SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit ©Getty Images

ASOIF added that it has endorsed an esports project to explore strategic and business options for all IFs to engage with gaming/esports.

The European Commission's recent support to the European Model of Sport was also welcomed by ASOIF.

ASOIF’s last General Assembly was held virtually in November.

The General Assembly had been scheduled to take place in April during the SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit in Lausanne.

The summit, attended by officials from across the Olympic Movement, had been relocated to Lausanne from Beijing because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The impact of COVID-19 ultimately led to the cancellation of the summit.

The summit faces further disruption this year.

The Russian city Yekaterinburg is billed as hosting the event from May 23 to 28, but the summit is now poised to move to October.

Russia’s Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said in January that organisers may be forced to push back the event to the autumn, a suggestion later repeated by SportAccord President Raffaele Chiulli.

Russia reported over 10,000 new coronavirus cases today, with the country having around 340,000 active cases.

Russian officials have expressed confidence that mass immunity could be achieved in the country by the late summer, amid the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.