The Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) was founded on 14 February 1896 by 18 associations, with the Danish Football Association (DBU) being the only federation. At the time of founding of DIF, the Confederation represented nine different sports and had some 2,200 members.
DIF was founded with the purpose of establishing uniform amateur and competition rules as well as an organisation which could safeguard the interests of the sports community.
In 1903, DIF received an annual government grant of DKK 3,000. In 2005 the financial support totalled approx. DKK 264 million from the proceeds from national lotteries, the so-called Pools and Lotto Funds.
In 1993, the Sports Confederation of Denmark changed its name to the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark following the merger with the Danish National Olympic Committee, which had until then been responsible for Danish participation in the Olympic Games as an independent committee.
DIF has seen major changes since 1896, both in terms of finances, membership etc.
1896 - 1910
• The Sports Confederation of Denmark is founded on 14 February 1896 and initially comprises 18 associations and one federation (DBU - the Danish Football Association). The Confederation was founded with the purpose of establishing rules and safeguarding the interests of the sports community. To begin with, top priority is given to regulations as well as amateur rules and joint competition rules.
• In 1903, DIF receives its first government grant, DKK 3,000.
• In 1904, Crown Prince Christian, later King Christian X, becomes patron of DIF. The same year sees an organisational change: DIF now becomes an organisation for federations instead of associations.
• The Danish Olympic Committee (DOC) is established in 1905.
1911 - 1920
• In 1918, a total of 13 federations are organised under DIF, with 60,000 members distributed among 400 associations.
• In 1919, the Danish Shooting Associations (De Danske Skytteforeninger) becomes the Danish Shooting and Gymnastics Associations (De Danske Skytte- og Gymnastikforeninger (DDS&G)).
1921 - 1930
• Joint amateur and competitions rules are abandoned in 1925, and the associations are now responsible for establishing the rules.
• In 1926, 894 associations are organised under DIF's federations.
• In 1929, the majority of the gymnasts leave DDS&G to establish the Danish Gymnastics Associations (De Danske Gymnastikforeninger (DDG)).
• DDS&G is reorganised and becomes the Danish Shooting, Gymnastics and Sports Associations (De Danske Skytte- Gymnastik & Idrætsforeninger (DDSG&I)) in 1930.
1931 - 1940
• In 1932/33, DIF offers sports activities for the unemployed.
• In 1937, DIF has 183,000 active members.
• In 1938, DIF's government grant totals DKK 35,100.
• With the adoption of the Danish Primary Education Act (Folkeskoleloven) in 1938, it is decided that schools of a certain size must have playing fields.
1941 - 1950
• In 1946, DIF's membership now stands at 366,138, i.e. a doubling since 1937. Now 3,798 associations are organised under DIF's federations.
• In 1946, the Danish Company Sports Association (Dansk Firmaidræts Forbund (DFIF)) is established.
• The Danish Parliament adopts the Danish Football Pools Act (Tipsloven) in 1948, and DIF now receives DKK 117,400 from the pools funds.
1951 - 1960
• During the 1950s, many clubs get their first club house.
• In 1959, DIF establishes the Danish Sports Research Council.
1961 - 1970
• In 1965, DDG and the Danish Youth Associations (De Danske Ungdomsforeninger) merge to become the Danish Gymnastics and Youth Associations (De Danske Gymnastik- og Ungdomsforeninger (DDGU)).
• In 1967, DIF establishes the Joint Sports Council (Idrættens Fællesråd) in collaboration with DDGU and DDSG&I.
• The Danish Leisure-Time Act (Fritidsloven) is adopted in 1968, thus opening up for municipal funding of the sports associations.
1971 - 1980
• In 1971, Denmark has 365 sports centres of more than 800 m2.
• In 1972, Inger Engberg becomes the first woman on DIF's Executive Board.
• In 1976, sports become the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and the then Minister for Culture, Niels Matthiasen.
• In 1976, DIF has 1,177,601 members.
1981 - 1990
• In 1983, a report on elite-level sports is submitted in Denmark.
• In 1984, Team Danmark is established.
• In 1987, a report on amateur-level/recreational sports is submitted in Denmark.
• The Danish Parliament adopts the Football Pools and Lotto Act. The additional funding must, among other things, help realise the many proposals set out in the report on amateur-level/recreational sports.
• In 1990, the Leisure-Time Act is replaced by the Danish Public Education Act (Folkeoplysningsloven).
1991 - 2000
• In 1992, DDSG&I and DDGU merge to become the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations (DGI).
• In 1992, Denmark has 1,239 sports centres of more than 800 m2.
• In 1993, DIF and the Danish National Olympic Committee (DOC) merge to become the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark.
2001 - 2010
• In 2006, HRH Crown Prince Frederik announces his candidacy for membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is elected member at the IOC Congress in Copenhagen in 2009.
• DIF currently has some 11,000 sports associations with approx. 1,600,000 members which are organised under DIF's 60 federations.
• After a record term of 24 years as President of DIF, Kai Holm retires in 2007 and is replaced by Niels Nygaard