IPC President Andrew Parsons is among the nine new members proposed by the IOC ©Getty Images

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons and International Gymnastics Federation counterpart Morinari Watanabe are among the nine officials proposed for membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it was announced here today.

Italian National Olympic Committee head Giovanni Malagò has been nominated as one of five individual members, along with Lithuanian Olympic Committee President Daina Gudzineviciute and Camilo Perez López Moreira, President of the Paraguayan Olympic Committee.

They are joined by Samira Asghari, a peace and human rights advocate in Afghanistan who is a member of the IOC Athletes' Entourage Commission, and first vice-president of the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee Felicite Rwemarika.

William Blick and Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, Presidents of the NOCs in Uganda and Bhutan respectively, have also been proposed.

Of the nine members - all of which are likely to be rubber-stamped as members and officially sworn in at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October - three are women and six are men.

The IOC membership is now set to grow to 106.

The proposals were made by the IOC Executive Board today ©IOC
The proposals were made by the IOC Executive Board today ©IOC

International Association of Athletics Federations President (IAAF) Sebastian Coe and FIFA head Gianni Infantino have not been included in the list of proposed members.

Coe claimed last year that he had agreed not to become a member amid ongoing IAAF reforms initiated following the corruption scandal involving former President Lamine Diack.

IOC President Thomas Bach said the two officials facing re-election next year was the reason behind their omission, which had been widely expected.

"The IOC did not want to give the impression that we would like to interfere in these campaigns," Bach said.

"So the timing now would be too close to these elections."

Parsons and Watanabe have been proposed as International Federation representatives, while Blick and Wangchuck were selected to fill slots for NOCs.

The other five, including Malagò, have been nominated as individual members.

The proposal of Parsons paves the way for the IPC to regain a place within sport's most exclusive club.

Sir Philip Craven had a seat at the IOC table from 2003 to last year before he ceased to be member after Parsons was elected to replace him as IPC President.

Morinari Watanabe, left, is the first IOC member from FIG since Bruno Grandi, right ©Getty Images
Morinari Watanabe, left, is the first IOC member from FIG since Bruno Grandi, right ©Getty Images

It had been widely expected that the Brazilian would eventually replace Sir Philip as a member, particularly following the deal signed between the IOC and IPC in March which outlined closer collaboration between the two organisations.

Companies in the IOC's top-tier sponsorship programme will also become sponsors of the Paralympic Games from 2021 onwards.

"It is a tremendous honour to be nominated by the IOC Executive Board for IOC membership," Parsons said.

"Although this is an individual membership, I truly believe this is further evidence of the growing collaboration and relationship between the IOC and IPC. 

"By working together, we can do more to grow sport around the world, and use sport as a catalyst to social change. 

"We have an exciting future working together."

Japanese official Watanabe is in line to become the first FIG representative to gain IOC membership since predecessor Bruno Grandi was forced to step down in 2004 after he reached the maximum age limit of 70.

Watanabe remains the only Japanese President of an Olympic IF following his election in 2016.

"This opportunity is a result of the hard work of everyone in the FIG family and the solid foundations laid by my predecessor, FIG Honorary President Bruno Grandi," he said. 

"So far my responsibility has been limited to gymnastics, and I would be honoured to participate in promoting the Olympic Movement as a whole."

Malagò's nomination comes as the CONI continue to debate which city to put forward to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo are the three cities in the running, with a decision on the Italian candidate due to be announced in August or September.