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Earlier this year SportAccord, the umbrella organization for international sports federations, experienced a significant upheaval. After clashing with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the body changed names and leadership and opened its doors to new sports including Match Poker.
SportAccord tracks its history back to 1921, and though the official name of the group has changed its position as a gateway into the Olympic Games remains. In April SportAccord changed its name to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).
SportAccord decided rebranding was best after a 2015 conflict between SportAccord’s then-president Marius Vizer and the IOC incited several sports federations to jump ship. Vizer has since been replaced with Patrick Bauman, who is dedicated to reaffirming the group’s position in global sports.
In the rebranding announcement, Bauman said the group has “closed the book on the past.” His words influenced some federations to rejoin the GAISF. The GAISF then opened the door for eight new alliances to enter, not as full members but as GAISF Observers.
Among those federations is the International Federation of Match Poker, formerly known as the International Federation of Poker. The slight name change represents a change in the focus of the former IFP, which no longer represents the poker card game as it is known worldwide, but a new form of team game that is played on mobile devices.
The IFMP’s acceptance as a GAISF Observer moves Match Poker one step closer to the Olympic Games. However, the traditional card game played at casinos is even further from Olympic acceptance.