International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach of Germany smiles during a press conference at the 134th Session of the IOC at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, 26 June 2019. [JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT/EPA]
Greece, host of the first modern games in 1896, regained International Olympic Committee representation after four years on Wednesday when the head of its Olympic body Spyros Capralos was elected as one of 10 new members to the global organization.
World soccer’s governing body FIFA and world athletics’ IAAF were again left out in the cold with neither FIFA President Gianni Infantino nor IAAF President Sebastian Coe on the list for a fourth straight year.
Despite presiding over two of the most popular sports in the world, FIFA and the IAAF have been embroiled in a range of scandals in recent years.
The Greeks, who also hosted the 2004 Games, had been without a member since 2015, the first time that had happened since 1894, the year the IOC was created.
Capralos had been reprimanded back in 2012 as head of his country’s Olympic Committee after his involvement in a London 2012 Games ticket resale scandal that also included several other national Olympic Committees.
Greece will host the 2021 IOC session in Athens that will also decide on the re-election of IOC President Thomas Bach.
Other new members include former Costa Rica president Laura Chinchilla, Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, Cameroon sports administrator Odette Assembe Engoulou, Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo who heads the Lesotho National Olympic Committee and Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir.
Also elected were the President of the Cape Verde Olympic Committee Filomena Fortes, Narinder Dhruv Batra, President of the Indian Olympic Association, Mustapha Berraf who heads the African Olympic Committees Association (ANOCA) and Lee Kee-heung Lee, South Korean Olympic Committee chief.