The latest news in the struggle for a fair Olympic qualification in fencing

The Swedish Fencing Federation has presented presented a proposal to change the Olympic qualification system in fencing to make it more fair and equal. The current system is very favourable to the federations who qualify teams to the Olympic Games. They automatically get three participants also in the individual competition.

For the Swedish federation the problem is that the FIE refuses to present the proposal.

– It is very frustrating, says Otto Drakenberg who is the president of the federation. We have tried for years to have a dialogue with the FIE about the qualification system without any success. Now it seems that they refuse to let our proposal be discussed and vote on at the Congress. To me it seems strange that maybe the most important question for the world of fencing is not thoroughly discussed and decided by the fencing nations of the world.

The Swedish proposal limits the participation of any one country in an Olympic fencing event to one, thus allowing many more countries to have participation in the Olympics. Also the federation proposes to limit the team competitions to only four teams and to almost totally separate the individual qualification from the team qualification.

– I can understand that our proposal seems radical, says Otto Drakenberg. But I think it is clear that keeping the system we have now will make it almost impossible for fencing to develop as a global sport. We see that only six nations take more than seventy per cent of the Olympic medals and accounts for 40 per cent of the participation . We need change.

Participation and medals for the six most successful national federations at the Olympics 2004-2021

The Swedish Fencing Federation has written several letters to the Executive Committee of the International Fencing Federation since it became clear that the FIE simply refuses to let the Congress discuss and vote on the proposal.

– I think it is wrong not to let the proposal be discussed. If our proposal is unsuitable or goes to far, maybe we can find a compromise somewhere or at least try to improve the situation. Not Tod discuss this situation, which is beneficial only to a small number of federations and very negative for the vast majority of fencing federations is turning a blind eye to reality and also a sign of a peculiar democracy inside our sport.

Read the latest letter from the Swedish Fencing Federation to the International Fencing Federation

https://fencing.se/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Letter-from-the-Swedish-Fencing-Federation-24-Nov-2021.pdf

Read more about the Swedish Proposal