Federation resists removal of wrestling from Olympic Games - The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) has expressed its determination to fight against the removal of the sport from the 2020 Olympic Games programme.
This comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) resolved to chop off the sport.
Wrestling is a relatively popular sport in Africa and the decision will certainly not go down well with the lovers and administrators of the sport on the continent.
The announcement came as a surprise to many observers, with wrestling not among the likely candidates being put forward for the 2020 Games axe ahead of the IOC’s Executive Board meeting.
The likes of modern pentathlon, badminton, taekwondo and table tennis were all mentioned as possibilities for removal, said Sports Business in a news dispatch Thursday.
However, wrestling failed to make the list of the 25 sports the IOC will propose to its 125th Session for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Summer Games, which will be hosted by either Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo.
FILA said it will discuss the IOC’s decision at its bureau meeting in Phuket, Thailand, at the weekend.
The Federation said in a statement: “FILA was greatly astonished by today's recommendation of the IOC Executive Board not to maintain wrestling among the 25 core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games.
'FILA will take all necessary measures to convince the IOC Executive Board and IOC members of the aberration of such decision against one of the founding sports of the ancient and modern Olympic Games.
'FILA has always complied with the IOC regulations and is represented in 180 countries, with wrestling being the national sport in a fair amount of them and the only possibility for athletes to represent their country at the Olympic Games, thus contributing to their universality.”
Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports – baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu – vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport.
The eight sports are scheduled to make presentations to the Executive Board at its meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, in May.
The Executive Board will select which of the eight sports to recommend to the 125th IOC Session for inclusion as an additional sport on the 2020 programme.