IFAF suspended by Global Association of International Sports Federations; Expulsion next?

The GAISF, Global Association of International Sports Federations (formerly Sport Accord), has suspended the International Federation of American Football.

Apparently, IFAF is delinquent on payments to the agency to the tune of 34,877 euros or USD 41,494.00 for anti-doping services rendered in 2016 and 2017. A total of 11 invoices were issued.

In a series of letters, signed by Patrick Baumann, president of GAISF, the organization initially demands payment for anti-doping services provided but ultimately announces on November 20 that IFAF has been suspended and that the IOC – International Olympic Committee – and WADA – World Anti-Doping Agency – have both been copied on the letter.

According to Philippe Gueisbuhler, who is head of Administration for GAISF, the organization is aware of the political issues IFAF has been dealing with but simply would like this matter to be addressed:

“We definitely would like to see IFAF unified but this debt needs to be settled. This is not a step we take lightly. We hope a solution can be found. It is important for the sake of the sport, that IFAF come together and resolve this matter.”

Gueisbuhler went on to say that the fact that the GAISF has no one it can negotiate with until CAS hands down its final ruling is a complicating issue. He also stated that the matter will be brought before the GAISF General Assembly to be held in Bangkok in April 2018.

Could expulsion vote be next?

The next step for GAISF, should the matter not be resolved before the General Assembly, would be a member’s vote in Bangkok to expel IFAF. If that were to happen, IFAF would lose its IOC recognition and that would be a financial disaster for American football federations throughout the world. A common requirement in most countries for an international federation to receive government funding is membership in GAISF. If IFAF is ousted from GAISF, that funding would dry up.

The letters from the GAISF have been addressed both to the IFAF head office in La Courneuve, France, and to Richard MacLean, president of IFAF NY and it would seem, until CAS renders its final ruling, acting head of IFAF since Tommy Wiking was ruled out as president by CAS.


“The services for which GAISF is seeking payment were allegedly provided under an agreement entered into by Mr. Wiking on April 20, 2016. Mr. Wiking resigned his position with IFAF effective April 30, 2015. Despite his attempted retraction, in its partial order, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found that Mr. Wiking had in fact resigned his position with IFAF effective April 30, 2015. CAS further found that “any and all actions by Mr. Tommy Wiking either as IFAF President or more generally on behalf of IFAF after 30 April 2015 are null and void.

IFAF and its leadership are committed to helping GAISF resolve this issue. IFAF has requested GAISF provide additional information on the services provided under the null and void agreement with Mr. Wiking so that IFAF can, to the extent possible, assist GAISF in attempting to recover the funds they are owed by Mr. Wiking or others involved in this matter.”

The implications of expulsion from GAISF are wide ranging. Not only would government funding disappear, but the reputation of American football throughout the world would suffer an almost irreparable blow.

About the GAISF

Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF; previously SportAccord) is the umbrella organisation for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations as well as organizers of multi-sports games and sport-related international associations. GAISF is an international sport organization with 92 full members (international sports federations governing specific sports worldwide) and 17 associate members (organizations which conduct activities closely related to the international sports federations).

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