The International Confederation of French-speaking Sports Unions is born
In Espalion (France), nearly 40 representatives of many major institutions from the sports movement, international cooperation and the sporting Francophonie took part in the first international seminar for leaders of Francophone Sports Unions on November 28 and 29. At the end of these meetings the International Confederation of French-speaking Sports Unions was born. Interview with Ali Kanaté, the first president.
What is the mission of the International Confederation of French-speaking Sports Unions?
The mission is first of all to develop sport in the French-speaking area and to defend different French-speaking sports unions. What you need to know is that in each discipline, there is a French-speaking confederation. For example, for table tennis it is the international table tennis Francophonie, there is the fencing francophonie, the francophone wrestling union, etc. This confederation brings together all the French-speaking confederations. We started from the observation that everyone was acting on their own and that 2024 is an important year because we have the Games and the summit of the Francophonie. It truly is the year of sport and the French-speaking world. We now want to act together.
What will be your first actions?
This will be to set up training. It will take place on February 6 for the various leaders around the organization of competitions because in the coming years there are quite a few French-speaking countries which will host international competitions. And then to apply for a call for projects called “sport and decentralized cooperation” in conjunction with Espalion Town Hall and the international association of French-speaking mayors.
What are the other areas of cooperation?
We will cooperate a bit on everything. Each discipline has its specificities and difficulties. The observation we make is that there is often a lack of resources, the unions are limited in their scope of action. They have less weight internationally. What we want is to try to develop an economic model, together we will be able to better negotiate with the authorities linked to the Francophonie and in particular with the International Organization of the Francophonie, with the Ministry of Sports, with the Committee National Olympic and French sportsman. We hope to be able to obtain more subsidies. And there is really a focus on training to strengthen the capacity of our leaders and the various French-speaking unions. And finally, constitute a sort of political platform to encourage French speakers to run for positions in international bodies. Our role will be to implement strategies, engage in diplomacy and advise people who wish to take international positions. It is a form of lobbying.
At creation, how many entities joined this body?
16 confederations. And since its creation, we already have two disciplines that wish to integrate it. Membership is accepted in Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines. Our members are the French-speaking sports unions. The French-speaking football union, the French-speaking fencing union can join, but not the national federations which are attached to the French-speaking union of their discipline.
What relationships do you have with existing organizations such as the International Organization of La Francophonie?
We have links with the political organization of the OIF but also with the CIJF (International Committee for the Games of the Francophonie) with whom we plan to set up a competition for young people aged 15 to 18. Because the observation that we also make is that there are very few youth competitions in the French-speaking area. And often, French speakers, when they arrive as seniors in competitions, they are much less experienced than English speakers. The idea is to set up youth competitions which could constitute a gateway to the Francophonie Games or the Olympic Games.