Stanislav Pozdnyakov took part in the EFC Annual Congress

For the first time in history, the Annual Congress of the European Fencing Confederation (EFC) was held online. It was attended by delegates from 41 countries. The event took place on World Fencing Day which this year is celebrated under the motto: “Fencing, Passion, Family.”

An elective congress was planned to be held in Sochi this year. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was postponed until next year. Accordingly, the ordinary congress was held online where relevant issues were discussed. General business was conducted and then the Annual and Financial reports were approved.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges and we have had to revise most of our plans. But this situation has given us a fresh look at the core values such as unity, fellowship, respect for each other and mutual support,” said the President of the Russian Olympic Committee, President of the European Fencing Confederation, four-time Olympic champion Stanislav Pozdnyakov in his opening remarks to the delegates present at the congress. “I wish you all productive joint work and unity in decision making and further actions that will enable us to improve the situation locally and safeguard a brighter future for European Fencing. Let us stay strong and stay healthy!” he added.

The delegates of the congress, in particular, discussed the EFC’s pilot project on developing a new Under-14 circuit (for children under the age of 14), as well as a ranking system and organizing European Championships for this age group. Due to the global pandemic, the implementation of this project had been put on hold, but now it has received overwhelming support from numerous national federations.

Speaking about the upcoming 2021 Senior, Under-23, Cadet and Junior European Championships, Jacek Slupski, Secretary General of the European Fencing Confederation, stated that “we cannot predict when these tournaments will take place. However, we will set the dates as soon as possible.”

“Serbia, due to host the 2021 European Cadet and Junior Championships, has decided to move the event from Belgrade to Novi Sad,” he confirmed. In turn, Switzerland officially applied to host the 2023 Senior European Championships in Basel.

Concluding the event, Stanislav Pozdnyakov expressed hope that this was the first and last congress held online. He also thanked the International Fencing Federation (FIE), as well as guests and delegates of the congress for their support and expressed hope to meet next year at the European Championships in Novi Sad and at the elective congress in Sochi.