Norwegian cross country sport Chief Bjornar Hakensmoen stated earlier this week that he wants fewer nations in international cross country skiing competitions. He hopes that this will increase the quality of the sport. The International Ski Federation (FIS) strongly disagrees with this, according to the Norwegian FIS representative Vegard Ulvang
Background article: Bjornar Hakensmoen Wants Fewer Nations In World Cup http://www.fasterskier.com/news2426.html
Source: Langrenn.com — Translated by Torbjorn Karlsen
The background for Hakensmoen’s statements was that he would rather cut athletes from weak ski nations rather than cutting the quotas from all nations like what has been recently decided by FIS regarding World Cup racing.
Former top skier Vegard Ulvang represents Norway in FIS. He doesn’t believe that Hakensmoen’s view points will be accepted by FIS
– We just went through a quota reduction that was decided in May. There won’t be any other changes than those we have decided for a while, says Ulvang.
– It’s doubtful that Hakensmoen’s viewpoint regarding a reduction among weak nation’s quotas would get FIS’s support, says the Norwegian FIS representative.
FIS doesn’t at all agree that the number of nations should be reduced either.
– FIS’s political desire is to involve many nations and create a wide specter of interest. It’s then a discussion regarding what’s best for the sport, says Ulvang.
For Norway’s part the new rules involves a reduction in their World Cup quota from eight to six in regular World Cup races, but it is still open up for any nations to race up to eight skiers if they are all in the Red Group (top 30 on the overall World Cup list). These skiers have a personal spot.
The rules are also such that no skiers regarding of nation, can have more that 75 FIS-points in the women’s category or 60 FIS-points in the mens World Cup (The lower the points, the better). This way the rules prevents any nations from sending skiers that won’t race at a reasonable level.
All nations need to be represented with skiers that can perform even with the new rules, says Ulvang
He also says that it’s only Norway that’s not satisfied with the new rules.
– This discussion is over and done. Only Norwegians are concerned about having eight start spots, claims Ulvang.
– Big ski nations like Germany and Sweden are using six racers, concludes Ulvang