Ivo Ferriani has addressed the sporting community in his 2021 GAISF message ©Getty Images

The new President of the Global Associations of International Sports Federation (GAISF) Ivo Ferriani has penned his end-of-year letter for 2021, but notably did not mention the organisation's pending dissolution, which is expected in May 2022.

Ferriani, who was elected last month following the departure of Raffaele Chiulli, instead focused on the difficulties of the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic and the achievements of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"We have all overcome significant challenges over the past two years," said Ferriani.

"While many positives can be drawn from 2021, it is clear that significant challenges still remain in relation to COVID-19.

"Indeed, GAISF's members have been instrumental in the widespread safe return of sport during 2021 and we can all be very proud of the way we have adapted, becoming more resilient and flexible than ever to ensure athletes can compete in safe and secure environments.

"In many cases, these adaptations have filtered all the way through to grassroots sport, from local leagues to local and national competitions, ensuring that people the world over can keep active and healthy.

"And we were able to come together, both in-person and from our homes, to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 thanks to the tireless efforts of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee, and our friends in Japan. 

"Congratulations to the Olympic summer International Sports Federations for showcasing the best of sport to billions worldwide while bringing joy and hope when it was so greatly needed."

Skateboarding was one of four sports to debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
Skateboarding was one of four sports to debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

He congratulated surfing, skateboarding, karate and sport climbing for making their debuts at the Games, as well as baseball and softball for its brief return to the Games after a 13-year hiatus.

Ferriani also wished International Federations good luck in their preparations for Beijing 2022, and later highlighted GAISF's work for athletes' safeguarding workshops - a topic greatly discussed during the pandemic.

"Sport must keep striving forward as one united team, adapting as needed and ensuring the utmost attention is paid to ensuring the health and well-being of all involved, and while the end may now seem further away, I have no doubt that we will emerge even stronger in the months and years ahead," added Ferriani.

GAISF is expected to be dissolved in May 2022 at its next General Assembly, despite opposition from the sporting community - including from former head and Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations President Chiulli, who called for a consultation process before making a decision on its future status.