18 May 2011

Curacao Replaces former Neth. Antilles in International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)


 British Virgin Islands, Tokelau and Wallis and Futuna among new applicants

by Michael McElroy

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is now the second largest sports federation in the world. This was as a result of the inclusion of five new members in the ITTF.

It has overtaken the International Federation of Association Football or Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) with 208 members. The ITTF has now 215 members in total and it is almost near to the world's largest sports federation that is the Federation International Volley Ball (FIVB) with a total 221 members.

Recently Mozambique, British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, the Wallis and Futura Islands and Tokelau have recently sent applications for the membership. The membership of the Netherlands Antilles is now transferred to Curaçao.

The President of the ITTF Adham Sharara said, “My knowledge of geography has advanced a great deal”.

The ongoing World Table Tennis Championship has gained the attention of more than 300 journalists from around the World. The Dutch table tennis has never received that much attention from the world media. The publicity will play a key role in making the sport known on international platforms and to attract more youngsters to play the sport.

In the history of sport none of the federations have played any key role in bringing countries together to play on one platform. The ‘Ping Pong’ diplomacy has always worked. In November this year the ITTF will bring India and Pakistan, United States of America and Iran and South and North Korea to play together.

They will not be fighting a war, but will be standing united on the tables to play side by side for the international ping pong tournament. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) along with the Sport Foundation are organising an international table tennis event at Doha, Qatar.

Prince Albert of Monaco, who is one of the members and ambassador of the Peace and Sport organisation, said, “Sport can play an important role in world peace. Look at this tournament; we have got India and Pakistan together and also North and South Korea.”

The membership of Kuwait is suspended by the Olympic Committee. However, the ITTF restored their membership with the federation. The World Table Tennis Championship was also to be held at Qatar, but the ITTF officials decided to hold it in Japan to support the disaster victims.

The ITTF is playing a major role in the development of players, federations and referees. The federation will soon become the top sports federation of the world.

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