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21 years flew away very quickly

Exactly 21 years ago, on this day, on 3 March 2000, Dr. Jenő Kamuti was elected as the President of the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) in Paris. The mandate was then for 4 years, which has been extended, as we know recently, by 4 more cycles so far. 

                                                             Jenő Kamuti on 03. 03. 2021

Jenő Kamuti  - in acknowledgement of more than 3 decades of his career- was the first Hungarian who received the International Fair Play Award for Career in 1978 and then he served as a member of the Executive Committee of CIFP for 22 years.

The International Fair Play Committee was previously chaired by such a world-known sport diplomats as Jean Borotra, famous French tennis champion, one of the founders of the CIFP; Willi Daume, the leading man of the German Olympic movement, who was also a vice-president of the IOC; than after his death the Committee was lead by Louis Guiraudou N’Diaye from Ivory Coast. Jenő Kamuti is the 4th President of the Committee, founded in 1963.

At the presidential election Mr. Kamuti, who was still active and successful as surgeon, won against a hard opponent, Anita DeFranz, who won Olympic champion bronze medal in 1976 in rowing.

     Mr. President said at his election in 2000:

I think this election is the greatest recognition in my life. I like this job deeply from my heart. I want to strengthen the idea, the view that the Fair Play is a matter of education’ – as then the newly elected president said about his program. ‘Athletes are role models for everyone else and therefore young athletes need to be educated in such a way that they could become really as a true role models. I know that there will be a lot of work to solve presidential tasks, but the slogan on my former Fair Play Award will help, because I really believe in it : More than victory if someone is fair ’.

     21 years later, so today, these sounds the words from Mr. President:

These 21 years flew very quickly. I remember clearly each moments from that time, as the result of the votes was announced in Paris. Of course, so many years cannot be summarized in a few sentences, but if I draw a quick balance, I think I managed to make the Fair Play as an idea better known before public. Our Award Galas also contributes to this, the system of which was changed during my presidency, and we hold the galas every year on different venues at different locations. This way we could reach the local communities better, and the media is reporting on it all over the world, drawing more attention to Fair Play and also the host countries.  Also during this period we introduced two new categories, the Promotion and the Youth, the last one is at the suggestion of former IOC President, Jacques Rogge.

In addition, I would highlight our presence on the Youth Olympic Games, Universiade, and other international sport events. The positive result of these 21 years also a number of international collaborations, thanks to them we now appear at several world and continental championships every year with a stand, where we can get closer, and have more personnel relationships with athletes, coaches, and other sport professionals.’

      Jenő Kamuti also spoke about the near future:

We were not able to hold the General Assembly last year because of Covid-19, so it will hopefully take place in this autumn. If God gives me strength and health, I would like to continue the work started 21 years ago until the Olympic Games in 2024. And then my carrier as Fair Play President would be enframed by Paris’.


CIFP/Gabor Deregan, HNNA; photo: Peter Szalmas/HOC