© ASOIF Media

The Council of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) deliberated on the significant implications of the recent decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to broaden the sports program at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Last October saw the approval of the inclusion of five new sports in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, in 2028. These sports are baseball/softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash. With the addition of these five sports and the confirmation that sports such as boxing, weightlifting, and modern pentathlon will continue to compete, the total number of sports at the 2028 Games will be 36, a record in the history of the Games.

The ASOIF's discussion centered on the distribution of revenue and funds because, with more sports participating, there could be less income for sports that were already part of the Games. According to them, the pie to be shared would be practically the same. However, aside from this financial consideration, there is also a sports-related concern that adding sports will lead to two outcomes: either the limit of 10,500 athletes set by the IOC will be exceeded, or the number of athletes per sport (or teams per sport) will have to be reduced, something not well-received by various federations defending their sports.

A noteworthy point is the inclusion of cricket, the flagship sport of the world's most populous country, India. This move will capture the interest of millions of fans of a sport that, while not as popular when considering the number of countries, holds significance due to the millions who consume it on television, especially in Asia. The inclusion of cricket could potentially increase IOC revenues through the sale of television rights, thus compensating for the distribution of funds to sports federations.

Everything remains to be seen, as there is still plenty of time until early 2025, when the IOC has set its goal to finalize the quotas. In addition, the Council agreed to hold the next ASOIF General Assembly on April 9, 2024, in Birmingham, United Kingdom, during the SportAccord World Sports and Business Summit. The summit will bring together approximately 1,500 leaders and key decision-makers from over 120 International Federations, sports companies, and the International Olympic Committee.