ITF and World Taekwondo sign up to esports' GEF
The International Tennis Federation and World Taekwondo have become members of the Global Esports Federation, the recently-formed, self-proclaimed governing body for the sport.
The GEF’s president, Chris Chan, said his organisation would “support these international federations in joining the world’s publishers, developers and the entire esports community in developing new platforms to evolve (their) experience in this digital age.”
Kelly Fairweather, the ITF’s chief operating officer, added that esports “presents a myriad of opportunities”, and that the ITF “is keen to play an active part in global development.”
Many federations have been turning to esports in the last few months, after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic caused a shutdown of all real-life sporting action.
There are presently no plans for World Taekwondo events until at least August, while both the top-tier men’s and women’s tennis tours announced today thay will return midway through that month.
The GEF is over six months old, having been launched in December 2019 in Singapore, but has already struck a strategic partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation, earlier this year.
Paul Foster, the GEF’s chief operating officer, told Sportcal in an interview after that partnership was announced that: “We’re now talking to some of the world’s leading sporting organisations about how we can partner and help them. Our name is now out there.
“A lot of big organisations are just at the beginning of thinking about esports… They’re thinking about how they start that process, and are asking us for help.”
To read the full interview with Foster, who worked for the International Olympic Committee for 15 years between 1997 and 2012, and was involved in the planning for nine Olympic Games, click here.
The GEF was launched with the backing of Chinese internet giant Tencent.