HomeNewsBusinessMartial Arts

Vizer fires back amid World Combat Games withdrawals

SportAccord, the umbrella organisation for international sports organisations and federations, has defiantly predicted the 2017 World Combat Games in Lima, Peru will be “the biggest edition yet” despite a number of damaging splits with some of the event’s flagship sports.

Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord, publicly criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president Thomas Bach last month, prompting a number of International Federations (IFs) to suspend their association with SportAccord. Asoif, the group of summer Olympic federations, also suspended ties with SportAccord.

SportAccord’s World Combat Games has come under focus over the past week with the International Boxing Association (AIBA), United World Wrestling (UWW) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) all electing to follow suit. This potentially reduces the number of IFs set to showcase their sports in the Peruvian capital to 12, but Vizer (pictured) remains confident that the event will be a success and bring in significant revenue.

“This event is aimed at generating benefits for International Federations in terms of exposure and financial revenues,” Vizer said in a statement today (Wednesday). “The value of such revenues in the original agreement is over $20m (€18m), including dividends that will be paid to all participating IFs, their respective sports, but more importantly also to athletes via prize money: athletes whose participation, travel and accommodation are covered by the event.

"We are sure that together, while generating huge exposure for Lima and combat sports, we will attract youth to further participate in and learn from the values and principles of sport.”

During meetings with the participating international federations at the SportAccord Convention World Sport and Business Summit last month, it was decided that Peru would implement a grassroots development programme for all sports represented at the World Combat Games.

Lima was appointed to host the 2017 World Combat Games in March. The 2017 event was initially due to feature 16 different sports. More than 2,500 athletes were set to take part in competitions that stretched across 33 disciplines and 135 categories.

The first-ever edition of the World Combat Games took place in the Chinese capital of Beijing in 2010, with Russia finishing as overall champion. The 2013 Games were staged in the city of St. Petersburg in Russia, where the host nation successfully defended its title. The featured sports at St. Petersburg 2013 were: aikido, boxing, fencing, judo, jujitsu, karate, kendo, kickboxing, muaythai, sambo, savate, sumo, taekwondo, wrestling and wushu.

SportAccord added in a statement: “SportAccord would like to confirm its commitment to the World Combat Games and the unity of the combat sports family. It is the spirit of honour and respect that allows the event to grow stronger, and for all stakeholders to gain mutual benefits.”