Four member federations of the International World Games Association (IWGA) were among the six federations that were granted full recognition at the 138th IOC session in Tokyo yesterday. The World Games family congratulates the federations in question: International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA), International Sambo Federation (FIAS), World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO) and World Lacrosse!

IOC Sport Director Kit McConnell said the sports conformed to the Olympic Charter during their provisional recognition, with each fulfilling the required criteria. This included the sports being able to demonstrate full independence and autonomy.

International Sambo Federation President Vasily Shestakov claimes the governing body had achieved “mission impossible”. “FIAS received provisional IOC recognition three years ago, and during this time we’ve had to prove to the whole world and ourselves that we deserve more. This period coincided with a difficult situation in the world – the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected all aspects of life, including the organising and conducting of sports events. But we have learned to work in crisis conditions, adapt to various restrictions and conduct international tournaments under unconventional conditions. At first, the mission seemed impossible; nevertheless, joint efforts have produced great achievements.”

CEO for World Lacrosse, Jim Scherr says the full recognition would help the sport push for further growth: “The evaluation process for full recognition has been intensive, but at every step in the process, the IOC has helped make World Lacrosse a stronger, more effective international federation, and we greatly appreciate the IOC’s ongoing support and encouragement. While today’s decision represents a historic milestone for World Lacrosse, it is not the culmination of our journey. Rather, we will use this new status and the momentum it creates to find new ways to continue expanding opportunities for participation in Lacrosse around the globe while supporting even greater growth.”

World Association of Kickboxing Organisations President Roy Baker says: “Again we make history for our sport, and this is a memorable day for our entire community and an inspiration to continue to develop our sport within the Olympic family of sports. Today I am grateful to President Bach for his continued support and to the members of the IOC for the confidence in bringing us into the Olympic family of sports. As a leader of the organisation, I simply needed a boost like this to continue to drive our sport, ensuring it has a sustainable future amongst the combat sports within the Olympic family.”

IFMA President Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan says: “Special appreciation and gratitude certainly must go to the IFMA international office led by Director Charissa Tynan. Over the last few years it has worked to ensure that all our strategic goals have not only been implemented, but also documented in our extensive 1000+ page application dossier to showcase to the IOC our strict alignment with the Olympic Agenda 2020 + 5.”

IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow congratulates the federations and says: “We are happy for these federations! From our point of view, this confirms the good work in the federations – not least as members of The World Games family. And it confirms the fact that this good work is also perceived by the IOC.”