Swimming-FINA ready to work with ISL pro series says new president
BERLIN, June 24 (Reuters) – The world swimming federation FINA on Thursday launched an invitation to the independent professional series of the International Swimming League (ISL) to work together for the benefit of the sport.
Newly elected FINA president Husain Al Musallam has said he is determined to reform the federation after replacing Julio Maglione, who had been in charge for 12 years and whose administration opposed this month. at the creation of the ISL.
ISL was founded in 2017 and FINA at the time urged national federations to refuse to cooperate with it, threatening to ban swimmers who participated in independently organized events.
But after pressure from top swimmers, FINA allowed athletes to compete in non-FINA sanctioned competitions, including ISL’s inaugural season in 2019.
“For me, as president of FINA, my door is open for ISL or any other business transaction,” Husain Al Musallam said on a conference call. “We will work with ISL if ISL wishes to work with FINA.”
“If any entity wishes to play a positive role in helping the movement, I will be the first to congratulate them and shake their hands,” he said.
FINA’s revenue was hit hard last year and some budgets were cut, he said, without providing financial details.
The club-based ISL series features several of the world’s best swimmers and held its second closed-door season final in Budapest last November, with a number of short course world records broken.
He has since announced that the third season will begin in the Italian city of Naples in August.
Swimming is a top Olympic sport and will have the most medals at the Tokyo Olympics next month with 49, one more than track and field, another major Olympic sport.
(Report by Karolos Grohmann Editing by Robert Birsel)
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