The World Games sports Kickboxing and Lacrosse have been granted provisional International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognition for a period of three years. The decision was made by the IOC Executive Board on Friday, and it followed a recommendation from the IOC Sports Department.
In addition to the two sports, also Sambo was granted provisional recognition for three years. The International Federations of the three sports will now be able to receive funding from the IOC and apply for grants for their development programmes. Full recognition has to be granted by the IOC Session.
World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) also welcomed the recognition of their sport. The organisation has 129 affiliated countries, of which over 90 are formally recognised by their countries' Ministry of Sport or National Olympic Committee.
Francesca Falsoni, serving as WAKO interim President following the death of Borislav Pelevic last month, believes the governing body’s efforts have paid off.
"The long journey started back in 2007 but we formally applied for the IOC recognition in 2016," Falsoni said. "It has been a long but rewarding process. WAKO has experienced a massive development over the last years and we really feel we deserve such recognition.
In acknowledgement of the work, I thank everybody involved, and in particular the International Relations team. It is also important to dedicate this recognition to Borislav Pelevic that supported and approved all the work done, not to say to Ennio Falsoni that founded the WAKO we see today.”
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) expressed their appreciation to the IOC, claiming it will allow the organisation to enhance the development of the sport.
The governing body, founded in 2008, said that their journey to the provisional recognition began with the merger of the Men’s and Women’s International Federations. The FIL now has 62 members.
"The IOC’s Executive Board’s decision to provisionally recognise FIL has created a major milestone for the sport of lacrosse," said FIL President Sue Redfern. "This decision will assist us and our member nations as we work to create opportunities for participation in the sport of lacrosse around the world."
Lacrosse and Kickboxing are both on the official sports programme of The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.