Over the past few months, the executives of a small group of Federations have been actively working to undermine the IPSF, while attempting to conduct a hostile takeover. The IPSF Executive was willing to address their contempt of and disregard for the future of the IPSF and pole sports by means of discussions and mediation. However, this group escalated their activity by actively attacking other National Federations belonging to the IPSF. This was done by spreading disinformation regarding the existence of the IPSF as an organisation among the members of other National Federations, specifically targeting their athletes, coaches and studios in person at the WPAC 2023 and afterwards on social media. Furthermore, this small group of Federations has progressively sought to engage with competitor federations in the countries where they met resistance from IPSF-affiliated National Federations, thereby coercing and manipulating these National Federations into working with them. Numerous official complaints were received by the IPSF Executive regarding this behaviour. This extreme ethical breach towards our other National Federations has left the IPSF Executive no other option but to cancel the membership of this small group of five federations.

The federations in question are:

  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland

Multiple copies of both official and unofficial communications among this group have been forwarded to the IPSF Executive. These communications clearly show that the five federations mentioned above are focused on creating unrealistic workloads and destabilising the IPSF team, its affiliated National Federations and the World Championships, with the apparent goal of installing their preferred leadership, rather than working together with the IPSF to build a stronger future. Their members have, among others:

  • Set up meetings under the auspices of the IPSF - claiming to be representing the IPSF - on multiple occasions, with the latest being a meeting on 5 December 2023;
  • Approached athletes, claiming to represent the IPSF and attempting to get the athletes to act against their own National Federations;
  • Spread disinformation to competitor federations in an attempt to destabilise other National Federations;
  • Actively ignored all responses to questions they raised, either because they did not like the answers, or because they were unable to find any counterpoint to the answers given;
  • Actively stated that they want to push the current IPSF Executive to its breaking point, followed by strategies designed to cause the greatest disruption possible;
  • Attempted to register a company called ‘IPSF’ in one of these countries in an attempt at a hostile takeover.

All the above actions were taken by the executives of the federations, without the agreement of their members. This has become evident from the numerous queries we have received from the athletes of the five federations.

This is an unpleasant situation for all concerned. The IPSF has been placed in an untenable position by the actions of a few individuals. Unfortunately, the effect of the above actions will impact a significant number of athletes, but the wellbeing of our National Federations, our athletes and our sport must take priority. The focus of the IPSF remains the creation of an environment in which athletes can compete fairly and in good spirit, without fear of coercion or of being side-lined.

Since the announcement of the cancellation of the memberships of the five federations, three of the federations have expressed a willingness to enter into discussions with the IPSF Executive. However, a timeline for resolution has not been set as yet.

The IPSF Executive remains open to resolving this situation through open, honest and productive discussions with the five federations. However, the necessity to make provision for the affected athletes to have the comfort of a National Federation has forced the IPSF to embark on the following process:

  • In each of the above five countries, an invitation will be sent out for applications for a National Federation.
  • Should a replacement federation not be up and running in time to host a national competition by the end of January 2023, the athletes of these five federations will be invited to compete as Open athletes, as is standard for any athlete without a National Federation. The IPSF will liaise with the National Federations of countries neighbouring the abovementioned five countries, requesting them to actively open their competitions to receive the Open athletes.
  • We will not block these federations from reapplying to the IPSF, should they decide in the future that they are capable of working WITH the IPSF and not against it.

If you are an athlete in one of these countries and would still like to compete, the following options are available to you:

  • Refer to the IPSF Website to find the closest Open competition to you.
  • Refer potential local federations to the IPSF to apply to be the official IPSF-affiliated National Federation.
  • Follow the IPSF on social media for updates and relevant news.

As regards the issue of registration of the IPSF as a company: a decision was taken by the IPSF Executive to move the registration from the United Kingdom to the European Union, due to potential benefits to be had in the EU along with the uncertainty that Brexit continues to hold. This process has been ongoing for a number of months, but a final vote on this was required by the National Federations at the AGM. Until the matter had been voted on at the IPSF AGM, no final action could be taken. The approval was given at the AGM to continue with reregistration in the EU, and the process is expected to be finalised within the coming weeks.

We know that this will be an uncertain period for the athletes, and we are completely committed to ensuring access to competitions for these athletes.

If you have any further questions, please contact your National Federation or the IPSF at


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© International Pole Sports Federation 2015