IOC President Thomas Bach, left, and GAISF counterpart Patrick Baumann signed the MoU ©IOC

Patrick Baumann believes the future of the Global Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) lies more as a servicing rather than a political body following the signing of a agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

His comments follow the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between GAISF President Baumann and International Olympic Committee (IOC) counterpart Thomas Bach during the ongoing International Federations (IF) Forum here.

This was billed as ushering in a "new era" in the "ever-closer relationship" between the two organisations and the "closure of a transition period which has seen Sportaccord re-name as GAISF, as well as the re-evaluation and redefinition of its role, aims and objectives".

Baumann made clear that GAISF will now focus on providing services to its members such as anti-doping support and organising multi-sport Games.

GAISF was re-branded from its previous name of SportAccord at a General Assembly in April at which new statutes - including a two-year rotating Presidency - were approved.

"This structure is there to stay beyond the current leadership of GAISF," said the Swiss official, who is also International Basketball Federation secretary general and chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Los Angeles 2028. 

"It gives back to the IFs trust and credibility and, at the end of the day, it gives us a rightful place as a fundamental pillar of the Olympic Movement.

"With the rotational Presidency, I think, by nature, you are going to have to deliver much more on the services that we are delivering to the IFs."

Patrick Baumann, right, and the GAISF leadership spoke about the vision of the organisation during the IF Forum ©GAISF/Twitter
Patrick Baumann, right, and the GAISF leadership spoke about the vision of the organisation during the IF Forum ©GAISF/Twitter

SportAccord was previously known as the General Assembly of International Sports Federations from 1967 until 1976, when there was a slight alteration to General Association of International Sports Federations.

It was re-branded as SportAccord during the reign of the late former President Hein Verbruggen in 2009.

GAISF now has less independent power with Baumann at the helm than under his predecessor Marius Vizer, who was forced out of the position in 2015 following his criticism of the IOC and its President Thomas Bach.

"GAISF was not necessarily born in the best intent of being cordial," Baumann added.

"This is a big family, and in a big family you always have groupings and power vacuums that someone tries to take advantage of it.

"But we've been mitigating the ability for certain individuals to try to use the organisation in a way that is not suitable for its steer it above or below or in a confrontational position to other parts of the Olympic Family.

"On the political impact, you will have a say because it is a voice of sport and the IFs have a huge impact on what is happening around the globe.

"But It is absolutely important that there is some stability at the top.

"The MoU does tie us closer together [with the IOC] but it is also identified that the role of the organisation is this, so it gives you a sort of a garden and says that you have to take care of it. 

"And, equally, others who have pieces of a larger garden should also take care of theirs in a similar way, but also not overstep their boundaries and step into other gardens and take a piece of theirs.

"Then you have to figure out that you don't have two gardens and leaves on both sides.

"Then the other one is complaining that 'your tree and my tree'...we don't need that, we have enough other topics that are quite serious.

"So the MoU does give a direction internally and I think it gives a direction and some sort of guidance to those that are running an organisation."

Baumann insists, however, that they will still raised disagreements with the IOC, but in an internal rather than a public and external way.

"My son, my daughter, they disagree with me all the time but they are still in the house," he added.

GAISF represents 109 International Federations and sporting bodies in all. 

One key service it is currently carrying-out concerns a role within the new Independent Testing Agency which is coordinating anti-doping programmes on behalf of International Federations. 

Revived multi-sport events include the World Combat Games, for which a contract has been signed with Chinese Taipei to hold an event in the second half of 2019.