SOCHI, April 23. /TASS/. Russia’s Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), has been elected to the Council of the SportAccord international organization, the sports official, who was also the leader of the Russian republic of Kalmykia in 1993-2010, told TASS on Thursday.
The eight-member council includes heads of sports federations, which are members of the SportAccord, and the president of the international organization, Marius Vizer.
In an interview with TASS, Ilyumzhinov said that Russian Sports Minister Mutko and President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov asked for his help in restoration of relations between the SportAccord and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"Since I am the only representative of Russia in such important sports organization I am expected to be actively promoting interests of my country," Ilyumzhinov said. "I was also asked to become some sort of a peacekeeper between the IOC and SportAccord, considering the deterioration of relations between the two organizations over the last week. We need to improve the relations."
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) announced their withdrawal from the SportAccord on Monday, which was the second day since opening of the organization’s annual six-day gathering, held this year in Russia’s resort city of Sochi.
The withdrawal of the IAAF, ISSF and IFAA followed a statement made on Monday in Sochi by SportAccord chief Vizer, who criticized the current policy of the IOC pursued by its president Thomas Bach. Vizer said in particular that the "IOC system is expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent."
SportAccord was founded in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 21, 1967 and operates as an umbrella organization for all international sports federations, as well as organizers of multi-sports games and sports-related international associations.
Before the SportAccord Convention kicked off in Sochi on April 19, the international organization enlisted 92 full members and 17 associate members.
Russian businessman and longtime FIDE President Ilyumzhinov was reelected to this post last August beating former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Ilyumzhinov won 110 votes while Grandmaster Kasparov was supported by 61 FIDE members.
The 53-year-old FIDE president, who headed the federation since 1995, promised to seek the introduction of chess in the program of Winter Olympics. In 2010, Ilyumzhinov faced a similar challenge by another former world champion, Anatoly Karpov, Kasparov's long-time rival.