New Zealand was accepted as a member of FIAS ©FIAS

The New Zealand Sambo Federation (NZSF) has been admitted as a full member of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) at the organisation's Congress in Kyrgyzstan.

Taking place at the Orion Hotel in Bishkek alongside the World Championships, FIAS members approved the NZSF, while the Bolivian Sambo Federation was accepted as a candidate member.

FIAS President Vasily Shestakov opened the Congress and Executive Committee member Alexander Korsik moderated it.

During this, Shestakov reviewed the 2021 operations and thanked Uzbekistan for hosting last year's World Sambo Championships in Tashkent.

He did this on the opening day of the 2022 Championships in Kyrgyzstan, which were moved there from Turkmenistan.

FIAS admitted there were "some difficulties" in the organisation of its 2022 competitions, but all were successfully held.

These included the Asian Championships and Asian Youth and Junior Sambo Championships held in June in Jounieh in Lebanon, the African Championships in Yaounde in Cameroon in July, the Pan American Championships in September in Alajuela in Costa Rica, and the European Championships and European Youth and Junior Championships in Novi Sad in Serbia, in September.

FIAS President Vasily Shestakov praised the work of hosts during the 2022 season ©FIAS
FIAS President Vasily Shestakov praised the work of hosts during the 2022 season ©FIAS

He thanked the work of Bat-Yam in Israel for hosting the World Beach Sambo Championships in August and added about the expansion of the World Youth, Junior and Cadets Championships, which were held in Yerevan.

"For the first time in the history of FIAS at the World Youth and Junior Championships, combat sambo matches among juniors were added to the competitions in sport sambo which became a real decoration of the tournament," said Shestakov.

"I want to thank the Sambo Federation of Armenia for the brilliant organisation of such a major tournament and personally its President Mikael Hayrapetyan. 

"This year, the National Federation of Armenia has made a serious bid to regularly hold high-level tournaments on its territory."

The FIAS qualification system was discussed during the Congress too, and he informed delegates about the completion of the International Sambo Centre in Moscow in September, saying it was open to all sambists globally.