The Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE) (English: International Fencing Federation) is the international governing body of Olympicfencing. Today, its head office is at the Maison du Sport International in Lausanne, Switzerland. The FIE is composed of 145 national federations, each of which is recognized by its country's Olympic Committee as the sole representative of Olympic-style fencing in that country.
Since its inception in 1913, there have been fourteen different presidents. The current president of the federation is Alisher Usmanov.
Allegory of fencing by Václav Česák, presented to the Olympic Museum by the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime in celebration of its centenary
The Fédération Internationale d'Escrime is the heir of the Société d'encouragement de l'escrime founded in France in 1882, which took part in the global movement of structuring sport. The first international fencing congress was held in Brussels, Belgium in 1897 at the instigation of the Fédération belge des cercles d'escrime, followed by another one in Paris in 1900. At this occasion the Société organised one of the first international fencing events; French, Italian, Spanish, and Belgian fencers attended the competition. Dissensions rapidly arose between epeists and foilists, which held the majority at the Société. The third congress held in Brussels in 1905 voted the creation of an international fencing committee whose mission would be of fostering friendship amongst all fencers, establishing national rules, and supporting the organization of fencing competitions. The 3rd congress also adopted the French rules as the basis for upcoming international competitions. New tensions appeared, this time between France and Italy, about the regulatory weapon grip. They led to the boycott by France of the fencing events of the 1912 Olympic Games. A new international congress was called together in Ghent, Belgium, in July 1913. The main matter was the adoption of international regulations for each of the three weapons. The French rules were adopted in épée and foil; the Hungarian rules were chosen for sabre. Frenchman René Lacroix also campaigned for the creation of an international fencing federation.
Note: As of 7 July 2012[update], the Netherlands Antilles is still listed as an FIE Member nation and 146 member nations are listed on the FIE's membership page. However, after the country was dissolved, it lost its National Olympic Committee status in 2011. At the 2012 Olympics, athletes from the former Netherlands Antilles were eligible to participate as independent athletes under the Olympic flag (no fencers competed).