An important meeting took place in Lausanne with the agenda point to propose full recognition for International Federations (IFs) in sports.

The International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) and the sport of muaythai have been proposed for approval. IFMA has showcased to the IOC that they are in line with the Olympic Charter, have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and prevention of manipulation of competitions. Furthermore, IFMA has showcased independence and autonomy in the governance, universality, wellbeing and safety of the athletes, youth development, gender equality and many more. 

IFMA President Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan stated: “This is a historical day for all the 148-member federations around the world and it is the result of IFMA’s strategic planning for over 20 years protecting the ancient traditions of muaythai but strictly following and promoting the Olympic Charter.”

The President thanked, certainly the IOC for their trust but also AIMS President, Stephan Fox, for his continued effort to work for the overall good of sport. Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan congratulated each and every sport which was part of this important decision.

General Udomdej Sitabutr IFMA Vice President stated: “As a Thai, I am truly proud that muaythai is part of the 5 Rings and an Olympic recognized Martial Art and Combat sport. This is a proud day for all the IFMA Family especially the athletes. IFMA will continue to work as one towards our unified goals.”  


Charissa Tynan IFMA Director stated: “IFMA has implemented the Olympic Values in all our actions from the athletes to the gyms, the National Federations and the world body. Only a couple of months ago muaythai was included in the European Olympic Games not only as a combat sport but included with the rich cultural elements. We must thank the IOC Sport Department for all their guidance and support and certainly the IOC Executive and President Thomas Bach for acknowledging IFMA’s work within all stakeholders.”

Janice Lyn, IFMA Athletes Commission Chair stated, “Today millions and millions of IFMA athletes around the world are proud that after provisional recognition, the IOC Executive and Sport Department have brought us an important step closer towards full recognition and the 5 Rings. We will continue to understand the responsibilities we all have within the Olympic family and also the 5 pillars of Respect, Honor, Tradition, Excellence and Fair Play, the pillars of muaythai and IFMA. Thank you to the IOC and thank you to everyone who has contributed.”

Today we are proud as muaythai is already included in the World Games, World Combat Games, European Olympic Games and the list goes on. IFMA understands that this is an important milestone in the history of IFMA, but also understands the journey is just as important as the destination and we are now looking forward to the IOC General Assembly in Tokyo. IFMA will continue to follow their strategic roadmap to ensure a bright future while protecting the rich traditions and culture of the art and sport of muaythai.