Combat Games Meeting at the 2016 IF Forum

Yesterday’s Combat Games meeting at the 2016 IF Forum saw the attendance of all 15 Olympic and non-Olympic recognised combat sport federations united in the mission to continue with the 3rd edition of the World Combat Games.

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The meeting was chaired by AIMS President, SportAccord Vice President and Chairman of the Combat Games Commission Stephan Fox. The Combat Games Commission is made up of Combat Games organising veteran Antonio Espinos, President of the World Karate Federation and Nenad Lalovic President of United World Wrestling and IOC Member. The IOC was also represented at the meeting by Mike Joyce, IOC Sports Coordinator.

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Mr Fox opened the meeting and invited ARISF President Rafaelle Chiulli to give a brief welcome. Mr Chiulli stressed the importance of multi-sports games as an opportunity for athletes and federations to develop and encouraged the continued harmonious partnership between Olympic and non-Olympic sport federations.

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Mr. Fox then gave a presentation on the groundwork that the commission have laid towards reviving the games after the withdrawal of Lima from hosting the games that were planned during the previous SportAccord administration. The plan was aimed at making a more realistic event proposal that would make it possible for host cities to afford the event. This meant the notable decrease in sanctioning fee for bidding cities as well as the reduction of cost by scaling down the event by setting a cap on a maximum of 4-day competitions per sport, and the downsizing of athlete quotas tailored to the needs and expectations of each sport.

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The proposal was well received by the federations, and saw the keen return of some Olympic sports that had previously communicated an intent to pull out of the games.

Guy Horne from Lagardere made a presentation on behalf of Houston, Texas the first city to bid for the games for the proposed date of March/April 2018. Houston has shown a serious interest in hosting the 3rd edition of the games and offers an interesting venue for the games which would provide walking distance to and from hotel to competition for all participating sports.

In addition to the already positive meeting, Mr. Fox invited Paulo Ferreira, Director of the FISU World University Championships programme to inform the meeting about tentative plan to move forward with a FISU Combat Sports games, which will tentatively include a total of six combat sports in its inaugural edition.

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Mr. Fox also reported on an important meeting which took place to address the concerns over the organisation of Martial Arts Games by TAFISA. The meeting was chaired by SportAccord President and IOC Member Patrick Baumann and attended by IOC Member Nenad Lalovic President of United World Wrestling, ARISF President Rafaelle Chiulli, AIMS Council Member Michal Buchel and TAFISA Secretary General Wolfgang Baumann. The main area of concern for the recognised martial art/combat sport federations was the organisation of martial arts games by TAFISA which permitted the participation of non-recognised martial arts federations, often “splinter federations” from the recognised ones, which were neither members of SportAccord nor were they WADA compliant. The outcome of the meeting was positive in so that it was agreed by TAFISA to cease future organisation of such games and for a closer cooperation between TAFISA, SportAccord and IOC recognised organisations in order to clean up the issue of duplication and protect the clean athletes.

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