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Statement to the Open Letter
October 30, 2016
Since former vice chairman of IFAF Europe Continental Zone committee and Vice-President of AFBOE (Austria), Mr Gregor Murth, sent out an email with some incorrect information, IFAF would like to make some comments.
At the Paris IFAF Congress on September 17th there where 23 European members present. Six European countries went to a meeting in another city and ten didn\\\'t attend anything. Regardless how you count there is no way around the fact that the 23 members in Paris were indeed the majority of the European countries. Everyone was invited to Paris and some of those elected to not attend, among them Austria. The majority that Mr Murth is desperately seeking was in Paris. To claim that someone was left out or that those 23 present in Paris didn\\\'t represent the majority of the European countries is simply not true.
In 2014 the IFAF Congress voted to change the statutes regarding the requirements of how many clubs a federation needed to become an IFAF member. The proposal was accepted by an overwhelmingly majority above the required 2/3, including Austria. The Austrian delegate was Mr Murth. Austria didn\\\'t make any statement regarding that this change would be wrong or that they didn\\\'t understand the motives behind the statute change. Neither did the Austrian delegate propose any change to the voting principle of one country-one vote. Since the requirement, as approved by the 2014 IFAF Congress, is for the federations to have at least one club it shouldn\\\'t come as a surprise that some small countries do not have more than one club. One example is Slovenia which has one club participating in an Austrian League and which is a full member of IFAF.
Austria submitted a proposal about how to proceed with the foundation of a new European federation, but it was not supported by any country in Europe. Not even Austria which did not even attend the IFAF Congress. The majority agreed on the principle but elected a different approach to the one proposed by Austria. Complaining and implying that their proposal was not accepted due to bad statutes, that Austria supported when they were approved, is simply misleading.
At this point, in September 2016, to claim that there should be another principle for allocating votes than the one, supported by Austria, approved and written in the statutes voted at the 2014 IFAF Congress is contra dictionary.
The statement made by Mr Murth that federations are set up without teams and only in order to create a majority is curious at best and not really based on facts. Mr Murth also lists 13 countries as \\\"proof\\\" of his theories. Fact is that five of these Mr. Murth’s list, Cyprus, Iceland, Lithuania, Malta and Armenia are not even IFAF members.
The fact that Mr Murth may never have heard of any football being played in any of the IFAF member countries is actually totally irrelevant, as there is no current rule stating that Mr. Murth’s knowledge of the situation in any and all country is a pre requisite for IFAF membership or voting right. Indeed, most of us are not experts on football in every IFAF member country.
Six federations have not been \\\"kicked out\\\". They have been suspended for serious anti-doping rules violations. The requirements for anti-doping tests have been in place for almost ten years so they are not new at all. It may be the first time that Austria has been requested to submit information but that doesn’t mean that the WADA Code or the IFAF Anti-doping rules haven\\\'t been in place and carried out before. Out of competition testing have been done by IFAF since 2009. The only thing that is new is the fact that WADA now requires IFAF to register all players in the testing pool of the WADA system called ADAMs. And that decision was made by WADA and not IFAF. If Austria’s claim about personal rights laws in EU or Austria was correct, then no European or Austrian athlete would be registered in ADAMs in any other sports. But since there are hundreds of Europeans including Austrians already registered in the WADA system ADAMs, it appears that Mr Murth and AFBÖ have either gravely misunderstood the laws on anti-doping rules or that they are deliberately trying to prevent their athletes from being tested.
Regarding concerns about the new statutes that were unanimously approved by the Paris 2016 IFAF Congress anyone who attended the Congress could have raised this issue. Austria chose to not attend and did not raise any concern. It seems strange to complain about new statutes after the decision has been made, particularly if the complainant did not even bother to attend the Congress. Finally, the European members present elected inter alia six people from the former IFAF Europe executive committee as board members of the newly founded IFAF Europe federation.
IFAF Europe/ IFAF Continental Association of Europe