Sepp Blatter would be allowed to carry on as a voting member of the International Olympic Committee beyond the formal retirement age of 80 if one of the most influential of senior sports officials has his way.
Marius Vizer is the Romanian president of SportAccord whose membership comprises a host on national associations of both Olympic and non-Olympic sports.
At the annual convention today in Sochi, Vizer raised proposals to reform what he clearly considered the unbalanced and elitist membership of the International Olympic Committee.
His proposals included scrapping the age limits which enforce the retirement of ‘ordinary members’ at 70 and of members who head international federations at 80.
Blatter, long-serving president of FIFA, was present to hear Vizer address delegates. He is expected to be re-elected for a further four-year term at the world football federation’s congress in Zurich in May. However, he will have to quit as an IOC member when he reaches his 80th birthday on March 10, next year.
Vizer, the Romanian who is also president of the International Judo Federation, told delegates to the SportAccord Convention that the IOC should be far more representative of world sport, including opening up its membership of sports ministries.
He explained: “According to the Olympic Charter, the total number of IOC Members may not exceed 115, out of which only 45 are the ones directly involved in sport: 15 representatives of the international federations, 15 of the national Olympic committess, 15 of the athletes.
“This minority is the real royalty of the sport.
“In spite of this, during any vote, they can never determine change. In order to protect the real interests of sport, the majority of votes should belong to people in functions or offices related directly to sport.
“As long as country leaders can present bids, Olympic Family leaders can hold governmental roles, why not also include Ministries of Sport in the decision process?
“Any modern organization, in order to be dynamic, responsive and evolving, should have positions for fixed durations while their members’ contribution is active and truly adding benefit.”
Then, in a conclusion which addresses perfectly Blatter situation, Vizer added: “International federation presidents who are active in their roles, trusted and elected by their respective sports should not be withdrawn due to age from the IOC.”