Over the years the AIC sponsored athletes at international competitions of the
NABBA, WABBA, WPF and AAU, but the politics and in-fighting in these organizations
often affected the sporting activity, so in 1988 the AIC cancelled these
collaborations and began a battle for independent bodybuilding. After long
consultations with English, Belgian, French and other promoters, the first Mr.
Europa Open was developed in 1997 in Sapri. Since then English, French,
Belgian, Yugoslav, German and Italian athletes have participated in this
competition. Among the highest level of competitiors were such men as the
famous John Citrone.
The following year, after the success of the second
competition, the French delegate from the ACF, Michel Gauthier, won his first
Monsieur Monde in Auxerre in 1998. The English organizers Roger Noon and Niall
Morgan brought athletes to the first two contests and because of this, Italian
and French teams attended the Pendle Valley and Mr. London competitions.
Delegates to the Monsieur Monde contest in 1999 from France, Netherlands,
England, Morocco, Algeria and Cameroon gratefully acknowledged Biagio Filizola
as the leader of world independent bodybuilding.
Continuing the crusade
for transparency and independence, it was decided to form a new international
association; thus, the IBFA, The International Bodybuilding and Fitness
Association was born. The first competitions of the new association have been
great successes. The level of competitors in the Pendle Valley International
near Manchester in April was unprecedented. In addition, the number of
competitors who participated in the second IBFA Mr. Europa in Sapri bodes well
for the continuation of the association.