Ecuador is one of the latest countries joined FIFG during the summer. Marco Izurieta C., the president of the FootGolf Ecuador is working on to delegate players for the next World Cup and make our sport more and more popular in his country.
What should we know about Marco Izurieta C., president of FootGolf Ecuador?
I am an entrepreneur and a businessman based in Quito, Ecuador. My personal background in the business has been involved in the aviation and technological markets now, by distributing digital products used in the communications and video marketing markets worldwide.
Who helped you to get closer to FootGolf?
My elder son, Sese, who now lives in New York, USA. He has played this sport, while he was on a university tour with his soccer team in the States. He fell in love and recommended it to me around five years ago. It seemed like a good chance to bring it to our country, and since then I have been working hard to start officially with FootGolf Ecuador.
What were the first steps?
Together with a golf club, who are the owners of a 9 hole golf course located in Guayaquil, Ecuador, we started to play and developed this great sport in our country a few years ago. This happened, when I found this public golf club in Ecuador. Now, the FootGolf course is officially located in Samborondón, Guayaquil, and is called “Driving Range - FootGolf and Golf Club”. We had two FootGolf tournaments held this year. We appreciate so much, that Matias Perrone, the latest World Champion came to play here. We travelled abroad with four players to participate at the 2019 US Open also.
Now, we are becoming officially a sport in Ecuador and we are finishing soon the construction of our new official website and we are trying to coordinate the Driving Range Club in Guayaquil to have their players officially affiliate to the FIFG and see, if they can prepare well with the purpose of being able to participate internationally representing our country on the next World Cup in Japan. Also, we are negotiating with two more golf clubs in Quito, Ecuador with the aim of getting them involved in FootGolf as well. This is not an easy job to do and I think it will take more time to develop FootGolf in Quito. Beside that, our Mayor of Quito has made public declarations a month ago, stating that Quito will have its first public golf course in the near future and of course, we will do our work to get FootGolf involved in this new golf course in Quito.
Exclusive interview with Gábor Gelencsér, the new president of the FIFG. He talks about the plans until the next World Cup and how his board will help the countries to progress.
Footgolfer are dreaming about playing on the Olympics. FIFG is now in an observing status at GAISF, which is the first step of becoming a recognized sport. Where is FootGolf now?
We work hard for our dreams. FootGolf has power, that’s why we use the #footgolfpower from now to demonstrate this. Now we have a big opportunity in Hungary to get closer to the GAISF, because Budapest is organizing the Urban Games, where the representatives of the GAISF will be here. Of course, our main goal is to become a member of the GAISF from the observing status. To reach it, we need legal sport federations in the country members. From then we can talk about the possibility of being part of the Olympic games.
What will be your first steps as the new president?
All of us know, there are weak links in the system. We are checking the countries, what kind of background work is in progress. We need the active members to grow the sport worldwide, but on the local level mainly to reach a huge player and game fan basis. We are focusing on raising the amount of the players, because it causes problems in a few countries. If we are going to be successful in this area, it means, the standard of the national championships will be higher than now, and will not cause a problem to organize a tournament with 100 players for example. We lend the countries helping hand, business coaches are ready to measure the problem, make plans to progress.
The closing of the season is near, what are the plans for 2020?
Beside organizing the World Cup in Japan, we are going to have a stable world ranking system. We are negotiating companies running systems like we need. To progress, we want the schedule of the next year ready until the end of 2019. It is an important step, because the players can make plans for the future and the organizers must know what they can arrange, and mainly, not just in a short term. In 2020, the main event is the World Cup, so we are going to arrange the big competitions knowing the dates of the WC. We have to be careful in the future not to have bigger FIFG events on one weekend. To make the FIFG 500 and 250 tournaments more prestigious, we award the best of this competitions with the Silver and Bronze Ball as we do with the Golden Ball. We are arranging the first World Congress in 2020 and we want to hold it every year, because the leaders of the countries must meet regularly, not just during the World Cups.
You are European and have been leading the European Footgolf Grand Slam for a long time, but what are the plans for the other continental series?
Europe has a history of having series like the EFT or later the Grand Slam, where Julien Babel is helping so much to lead that. There will be Asian and Inter-American Tour also, and I hope, Africa will join soon with bigger amount of members.
What is the message of your presidency?
The etiquette and fair play in FootGolf can be attractive, so our main purpose to create values with our beloved sport. I believe in the power of footgolf. That’s why we choose the #footgolfpower to represent this.
After winning once during the German FootGolf week, on the FIFG 250 tournament, Matias Perrone (absolute), Fabio Mazzer (senior) and Izabella Ujvári (women) won again.
The organizing team and the FIFG board have had their first official meeting to discuss the 2020 World Cup. Details are coming on the first week of September.
The world champion Matias Perrone took the first place in the FIFG 50, and right after, the Argentinian finished second on the FIFG 100 losing during the playoff on hole 18 against the Italian Fabio Mazzer. More to come in Germany tomorrow with an FIFG 250.
János Flink won the 7th round of the Hungarian Championship in Balatongyörök, next to lake Balaton with -10 score. On the FIFG 100 event for the second place there was a playoff among Attila Karakas and György Podusil won by Karakas.
There will be two FIFG 100 tournaments in Uruguay, while another 100 World Tour points can be gained in Australia, Belgium, Hungary and in the Netherlands during the weekend.
Angel Reyes won the FIFG 500 AFGL National Championship for the second time. The three-day long event took place at Winton Country Club in Amherst, Virgina during the State Games of America. The Mexican Mario Calderon became second beating the Spanish Piero Menor after a playoff. The Hungarian Róbert Tajtyi won the senior, while Jo Reid the women category.
Yusuke Tachibana won the FIFG 500 tournament in China this weekend. After two days and two rounds, the Japanes footgolfer has beaten players like Matias Perrone, Nico Garcia and Evgeniy Levchenko.
A busy weekend has already started with the biggest tournament of the week in China. Friday is the practice day during the FIFG 500 competition in Asia. There are two tournaments on the course of the 2016 World Cup in Argentina also.