Friday 21 October 2016

Sport Ireland 'has had no formal engagement with any organisation representing MMA'

Published 13/04/2016 | 19:21

Sport Ireland have tonight issued a statement describing the process that MMA must go through in order to be recognised as a sport in this country.

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Following the death of Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho after a fight in the National Stadium on Saturday night, the sport has come under scrutiny for its lack of regulation in Ireland.

In order to be recognised by Sport Ireland, there needs to be a unified National Governing Body, which MMA doesn't have.

In its statement, Sport Ireland confirmed that don't recognise MMA as a sport but did describe the mechanism by which this could change and also pledged to work with the Department of Sport to see what 'regulatory framework it might operate in the future.'

Here is the full statement:

"Regardless of the relationship with Sport Ireland or any statutory authority, the primary responsibility for Health & Safety for an event rests with the organiser and the relevant governing body.

"Any review of the tragic events of last Saturday should be carried out by relevant authorities. That does not include Sport Ireland as it does not recognise MMA in any form.

"Sport Ireland will work with the Department of Sport to establish how MMA operates in Ireland and under what regulatory framework it may operate in the future.

"Sport Ireland has had no formal engagement with any organisation representing MMA on recognition to date.

"Sport Ireland recognises National Governing Bodies of sport and operates a recognition programme for sports/disciplines that do not have that status. Sports seek recognition as it provides access to funding and other supports & services from Sport Ireland. For many organisations it is valuable as an endorsement of that body which may be important for governance and commercial reasons.

"There is a process for recognition and criteria must be met. Without going into huge detail the applicant should be able to demonstrate that it is a functioning corporate body (M & As, audited accounts, functioning board etc), is affiliated with a relevant international organisation, is operating as the governing authority with rules etc and has clubs and memberships around the country."

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