FEI earns top marks in review of international sports federations

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The FEI is one of the seven federations including BFW (badminton), FIFA (football), ITF (tennis), UCI (cycling), World Athletics, and World Rugby, which “stood out from the rest”, the review said.
The FEI is one of the seven federations including BFW (badminton), FIFA (football), ITF (tennis), UCI (cycling), World Athletics, and World Rugby, which “stood out from the rest”, the review said. Pictured is Amy Hay, from Zimbabwe, at the Youth Equestrian Games in Aachen on June 24, on the first day of training with the drawn horses. © FEI/Liz Gregg

Horse sport’s world governing body has again earned a top spot for its governance in a review conducted by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

It is the second time the FEI has earned a leading position after welcoming top classification in the previous edition of the International Federation Governance review published two years ago.

The FEI is one of the seven international federations – the others being the BFW (badminton), FIFA (football), ITF (tennis), UCI (cycling), World Athletics, and World Rugby – which, according to the review, “stood out from the rest” having secured at least 175 out of a maximum of 200 points.

The evaluation was conducted by the ASOIF Governance Taskforce in 2021-22. As is customary in this process, it took the form of a self-assessment questionnaire with independent moderation of the responses. The questionnaire consisted of 50 measurable indicators covering Transparency, Integrity, Democracy, Development, and Control Mechanisms. Some 33 International Federations took part in the review.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos said being one of the top IFs in good governance practices is a matter of great pride for the FEI.

“It reflects the important strides we have taken – and continue to take – as a community to ensure integrity on the field of play but also within the decision-making process.”

De Vos said that there are always improvements to be made, but he believed the FEI had achieved a lot since the last Governance Review two years ago. “This is predominantly due to the solid structures we already had in place, which were put to the test but I believe are now even stronger.”

He said the organisation was wholeheartedly committed to good governance: “The silver lining in having good systems in place, such as transparency and consultation, is that there is nowhere to hide and you have to lead by example and serve your community thoroughly and responsibly.”

In its latest annual report, the FEI presented solid finances with a net profit of more than CHF 3.6 million ($NZ5.9m; $US3.7m) in 2021, with more than half of this sum expected to be reinvested in FEI Solidarity and IT Funds.

Despite the Covid-19 related restrictions still in place and the severe and unexpected outbreak of EHV-1 in mainland Europe, some 3719 FEI Events took place in 2021, with 39,162 registered athletes and 71,547 registered horses worldwide.

“Like all sports, we have had to overcome a lot of challenges these past two years, and I am grateful to the community for their resilience and dedication to ensuring a sustainable future for equestrian sport,” De Vos said.

“We are happy but also very humbled that the good practices all of us at the FEI apply to our daily work, and the commitment of members and stakeholders, are being recognised at the highest level of international sport.”

» Fourth Review of International Federation Governance (PDF)

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