The ITTF Executive Committee held a meeting in Singapore on 15 and 16 March in parallel with the first-ever WTT Grand Smash. The event received high praise from all the members, which were particularly impressed by the sport presentation and the quality of the organisation and its service level.
One of the major items discussed was the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The ITTF Executive Committee remains very concerned and reaffirmed its full solidarity with the Ukrainian Table Tennis community. The outcome of discussions is the formation of a Task Force, which will monitor the situation and co-ordinate efforts to allow Ukrainian players to continue participating at international events as soon as possible. Previous decisions and future developments will be constantly evaluated.
Members of the Task Force comprise Petra Sörling, ITTF President, fellow Executive Committee colleagues, Khalil Al-Mohannadi and Wahid Oshodi, alongside Zoran Primorac, Athletes’ Commission Chair, and Steve Dainton, ITTF Group Chief Executive Officer.
The Executive Committee also announced that the 2022 Board of Directors meeting would be staged on Sunday 2 October, the ITTF Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 4 October in Chengdu, China.
Notably, it was agreed that ITTF Annual General Meeting should be held as an event in its own right, not as traditionally on the occasion of a World Championships. Agreement having already been made with the local organising committees of Durban 2023 and Busan 2024, it was decided that the hosting rights for the 2025 Annual General Meeting will be open for application.
A bidding process for Member Associations wishing to host the AGM will be published in due course. A Member Association delivering a World Championships may bid to host the AGM in the same year but not during the period of the tournament.
The bidding processes for the following events were also discussed and will be published before the end of March:
- 2025 World Championships Finals
- 2023 World Youth Championships Finals
- 2024 World Youth Championships Finals
- 2024 World Veteran Championships
Additionally, the Executive Committee agreed efforts towards sustainability should be accelerated, the importance of reducing a negative environmental impact being stressed.
Therefore, the ITTF will align its sustainability objectives with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs). Moreover, a new position will be created to focus on sustainability within the ITTF Group and support the implementation of the UN-SDGs.
Petra Sörling commented; “The UN-DSGs have the power to create a better world by 2030, by ending poverty, fighting inequality, and addressing the urgency of climate change. Guided by the goals, it is now up to all of us, governments, businesses, civil society, and the general public, to work together to build a better future for everyone. To me this is personal and therefore they will permeate all my work as the ITTF President.”
Equally, the ITTF continues to work towards more gender-balanced representation. Thus, the Executive Committee decided Athletes’ Commission nominations must be made in pairs, one male, one female. Following this year’s elections, two members of the Athletes’ Commission, from different genders, will sit on the Executive Committee.
Meanwhile, with the introduction of World Table Tennis, the Executive Committee is considering reviewing the current limit of 40 teams for the World Team Championships Finals. It will open discussions with the Busan 2024 Organising Committee, the item will be included on the next Board of Directors’ meeting agenda.
The ITTF Continental Council, consisting of the members of the Executive Committee and the Presidents of the Continental Federations, and the Governing Board of the ITTF Foundation will both hold a meeting in Singapore on 17 and 18 March respectively.
Notes to editors:
Members of the ITTF Executive Committee and their respective portfolios:
- Petra SÖRLING: Strategic Plan, Human Resources, Sustainability, Olympic and Paralympic Games, Academies, External Relations, Member Relations, Diversity (Gender, Universality)
- Khalil AL-MOHANNADI: Continental Council, Events, World Championships
- Alaor AZEVEDO: Health, Innovation, Para Table Tennis
- LIU Guoliang: Commercial (WTT), High Performance, ITTF Museum
- Masahiro MAEHARA: Entourage, Home of Table Tennis, Sport Science
- Dr. Alaa MESHREF: Athletes, Development, IT & Digitalisation
- Roland NATRAN: Finance, Veterans
- Wahid OSHODI: Communications & Protocol, Governance, World Ranking
- Graham SYMONS: Clean Sport / Integrity, Equipment, Sport for All
- Zoran PRIMORAC: Athletes Commission (together with Dr. Alaa MESHREF)
- RYU Seungmin: Olympic and Paralympic Games (together with Petra SÖRLING)