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Brøndby. On Saturday morning, Niels Nygaard delivers his last report as chairman of the Danish Sports Confederation. Later on Saturday, his successor will be elected, which is a match election between the two deputy chairmen of DIF – Thomas Bach and Hans Natorp.
The 68-year-old Nygaard is making the status of 14 years as DIF chairman.
Question: What is the biggest difference between DIF in 2007, when you became chairman, and in 2021?
– The biggest difference between 2007 and 2021 is the harmonious cooperation internally and externally. At the time, DIF and DGI almost made a virtue out of shouting and screaming at each other, but since then we have managed to work well together. Otherwise, the “Move for Life” campaign would not have come to fruition either.
– We have also got a better relationship with the special unions. I have helped to move this by drinking a lot of coffee and taking the time to take an interest in them. The good collaboration has been a major reason for the successes.
Question: What are you most proud of having accomplished as chairman?
– The 15 medals at the Olympics in Rio in 2016 was an insanely beautiful result, and it showed that we have succeeded with the special Danish model, where you are nurtured by volunteers in association life to later get Team Denmark’s assistance.
– When you look abroad, it does not pay to get the two worlds to meet.
– I am glad that the width has come more into focus. Until six or eight years ago, DIF primarily went up in the elite and doing well at the Olympics, but now you look more beyond your own nose tip, and we have taken on greater social responsibility.
– I am also proud to have managed to get so many big events to Denmark. This is due to the good cooperation with the special unions and good contacts at Christiansborg.
Question: What challenges did you not manage to solve as chairman?
– I can not point to something that has not succeeded or is on a good track. I wish we had gone even further with “Move for Life”. We have had membership growth but have been put back by the corona pandemic.
Question: How do you see the situation in Danish sports right now?
– As I said, we experienced membership growth at a time when the curve in many other places went the other way, and even though corona caused the membership numbers to fall, I have confidence that we can quickly win back what was lost.
– At the elite level, it looks good in many sports, but due to the corona pandemic, it can be difficult to assess where we stand in relation to the competitors ahead of the postponed Olympics in Tokyo.
Question: How do you see the state of the sport globally?
– I see the sport having huge challenges globally. Many places in the world do things in ways that our values feel bad about.
– When looking at cases in the International Olympic Committee and the allocation of major events, there is cause for great concern.
– Fifa may not want to choose Qatar as the World Cup host in football today, but that does not mean that there are no stud deals in the largest international federations.
– There are Nordic and Western European countries and the USA that are starting to focus on diseases, and you see sponsors withdraw, but there are still 170 countries where that kind of thing is not a theme at all. I think things are going very slowly to change.
Question: Where does the sport stand in relation to shadow sites such as doping and match-fixing?
– If not so much effort was made against it, it would be significantly worse. There are doping offenders who keep finding new methods, but the scope is smaller.
– We would have preferred that the exclusion of Russia had been for the original four years, instead of halving the punishment, but I am nevertheless satisfied that there are consequences that make people think twice.
– Match-fixing has been brought to the attention of most governments so that it gets the right attention.
Question: How do you feel about resigning as chairman?
– I myself have helped to introduce the rule that you can sit on the post for a maximum of 12 years. It is inspired by places abroad where there is a tendency for some to sit for life so that it becomes ingrained and monotonous. There comes a time when the basket of inspiration goes the wrong way.
– That curve also fits me well, although I think I have contributed ideas and initiatives to the latter. I’ve been clarifying with it for a while, but that’s why it’s still sad.
Question: Earlier this summer, you lost the European Olympic Committee (EOC) presidential election. What does it mean?
– I went to the polls on a number of reforms and wanted, among other things, greater transparency in accounts and set out to be more inclusive than its predecessor, but in many places people are used to the president just deciding and feeling best that way.
– Europe is still very much divided into blocs, and one is up against cultures that work from old mechanisms. Not everyone was ready to swallow those reforms.
Question: What is going to happen in your life now that you were not elected President of the EOC?
– I still have different things to look at, the chairmanship of Sport One Denmark and then I sit on the organizing committee for the European Games in 2023.
– And then I have agreed with my wife that I will work four days a week instead of seven and take a real vacation.
/ ritzau /
Source: www.berlingske.dk by www.berlingske.dk.
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