FILA elects new President, institutes new rule changes
CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) FILA, the international wrestling federation, named Serbia’s Nenad Lalovic its new President at the FILA Extraordinary Congress Saturday in Moscow, Russia.
Serving as Acting President since former President Raphael Martinetti’s resignation in February, Lalovic called on the leaders of the 111 national wrestling federations at the FILA Extraordinary Congress to embrace the changes required in order to get Wrestling back on the Olympic Programme. The International Olympic Committee removed the sport from the Olympic Programme starting with the 2020 Olympic Games.
“What goes on in this room today and the days that follow will determine if we are an Olympic sport after 2016,” Lalovic said in the Russian capital. “We have been given a strong message by the IOC. How we answer that message will determine if our future includes the Olympic Games. We need to convince the IOC that we will listen to them. We are strong enough to change.”
“Mr. Lalovic did everything possible to overcome our situation and maintain the position of wrestling on the Olympic Programme,” FILA Vice President Metteo Pellicone said. Lalovic was chosen by the FILA Bureau as the FILA President nominee Friday and was presented to the Congress for a private vote.
Lalovic received 125 votes for and seven against in becoming the seventh president in FILA’s history.
“This is a family, full of those with pride and passion, and strength,” Lalovic said. “We showed that strength today. And we showed wisdom. And we showed that we have this opportunity, and like wrestlers on the mat, we are going to take advantage of this chance to score. Today is the first step on the road to continue in the Olympic Games to continue that dream for all those young men and women.”
FILA also approved new rules for both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, to take effect 19 May. Rules that will effect both styles include a new match structure – two three-minute periods – and scoring changes – two points for a takedown, making it more valuable than a point for a pushout or penalty point.
A change for Greco-Roman is the process of enforcing passivity. The first violation will be a warning, while the second will result in a caution, in which the opponent will be able to choose either par terre or a standing position. The opponent will receive a point for a third violation and the fourth will result in bout termination and the active wrestler will be awarded a victory by fall.
The Congress decided to initiate the new rules immediately, as opposed to a 1 January 2014 start date, and will be enforced at the 2013 World Championships in Budapest.
Another modification to the FILA Constitution includes more representation and inclusion of women and athletes in the organisation’s governance. At least one woman will become a FILA Vice President and the FILA Bureau will include 19 elected members, including three seats for women and three seats for Olympic and/or World Champions.
Fifteen different commission will be included in the new FILA Constitution, among them the Women and Sport Commission and a Sport-for-All Commission. It will also split into two different commission from the previous Marketing, Sponsoring, TV, Internet and Press Department into a commission for Marketing and Sponsoring and a Media Commission. The Athletes Commission will provide more input from athletes in the FILA decision-making process.
The FILA Bureau decided to eliminate Grappling and Amateur Mixed Martial Arts as recognised styles of wrestling under FILA management, though existing contracts for events such as the World Championships in Canada will be honoured. Pankration and Beach Wrestling will remain non-Olympic styles of wrestling.
More than 90 media members from 43 outlets were accredited for the FILA Extraordinary Congress.
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