International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles


International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles

Infobox Organization
name = International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées)


size = 150 px
motto = Welcome to the New World of Wrestling
type = Sports federation
formation = 1912
headquarters = Corsier-sur-Vevey, outside of Lausanne, Switzerland
membership = Representatives from 174 national federations
leader_title = President
leader_name = Raphaël Martinetti
website= http://www.fila-wrestling.com/|
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, also known in French as Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées (FILA), is an international wrestling federation that holds events around the world. It is the governing body of international amateur wrestling.

History

The first international federation for the development of wrestling and weightlifting was established in 1905 in Duisburg by the Deutsche Athleten-Verband. A committee was then set up that included members from Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany. The purpose of the organization was to form guidelines for the World Championships in wrestling. cite web
last =
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title = Origins and History
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publisher = FILA
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url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=27
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The "International Wrestlers' Union (Internationaler Ring Verband)" was created in Sweden in 1912 before the Stockholm Olympics after discussions between the national wrestling federations of several countries determined the need to establish uniform guidelines for rules for the various international styles of wrestling. The new organization charged the Swedish Athletics Federation with the task of establishing a congress to formulate statutes and rules for an international governing body for wrestling. Péter Tatits was elected the temporary president and Mor Csanádi secretary general, both from Hungary. The constituent congress took place in Stockholm.

The first congress of the International Wrestlers' Union took place in Berlin in 1913 from June 5 to June 9. Representatives from Germany, Finland, Austria, Bohemia, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Hungary, and the United Kingdom attended. The International Wrestlers' Union soon became the International Union of Heavy Athletics (Internationaler Amateur Verband für Schwerathletik) with German as its official language. The new international union would govern not only wrestling (the Greco-Roman style), but boxing, weightlifting, rope wrestling, and weight throw. Wrestling matches were then set for a time of twenty minutes, with a one minute break. Board members for the new organization came from various constituent nations in Europe.

During the 1920 Olympic games in Antwerp, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that there be independent international federations for each sport. In 1921, during the IOC Olympic Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, the "International Amateur Wrestling Federation (IAWF)" was created with English as its official language. Einar Raberg, an official and former wrestler from Sweden was elected its first president. The new organization sought to promote both freestyle and Greco-Roman and made new rule changes to both. World Championships were held in Greco-Roman in Helsinki in 1921 and in Stockholm in 1922. The formation of the International Amateur Wrestling Federation played an important role in legitimizing amateur wrestling to the IOC, the national Olympic committees, those national wrestling federations then in existence, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the general public.

Einar Raberg resigned as president in 1924 and was replaced by Hungarian Alfred Brüll. Brüll in turn left in 1929 and was replaced by Viktor Smeds from Finland. Smeds convened another congress in Stockhold in 1946 in which Roger Coulon from France was elected secretary general, treasurer, and technical director. Also, members from Egypt, Turkey, and the United States were added as bureau members. New rules were adopted from the sport, and Coulon set up the first course for referees that took place in Paris in 1957. The headquarters remained in Sweden until 1946, when it moved to France.

Roger Coulon became the president in 1952 and renamed the organization the "International Federation of Amateur Wrestling" during the congress in Tokyo in 1954. During the 1956 Olympic games in Melbourne, new members were elected that included representatives from Japan and Yugoslavia among other countries. By 1965, Coulon moved the headquarters of the organization to Lausanne; it became the first international federation to settle in the home of the International Olympic Committee. Desiring to better cooperate with other governing bodies in the evolution of the international sports movement, Coulon established the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) in 1967.

During the 1960s, a number of accomplishments were made by FILA including: better communication with national wrestling federations with the founding of the "FILA Bulletin", licenses for wrestlers, and a point system and qualification system for referees. Milan Ercegan, then the Secretary General, also made the first educational videos for referees. After the death of Roger Coulon in 1971, Ercegan was elected temporary president and then president by a voice vote at the Munich congress in 1972. During his tenure, the first book for coaches was published in 1973: "Theory and Practice of Wrestling, and in 1974 set up the first coaches' cource in Dubrovnik. Also, the Advanced School for Coaches was established in the same year. During his 30 years as president, Ercegan oversaw the publication of numerous books, magazines, films, and other pedagogical tools for the sport of wrestling, as well as hundreds of wrestling mats, which were distributed with no charge to the national wrestling federations. The "FILA Golden Plan" was introduced to promote wrestling styles among and provide technical assistance to developing nations. Also during Ercegan's presidency, the Junior World Championships and the Cadet Continental Championships (for younger age groups) were added to the list of competitions sponsored by FILA. In 1994, the name of the organization was changed to the "International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles" because of the organization's broadening in terms of the wrestling disciplines supervised. Ercegan admitted women's wrestling as a full-fledged discipline within FILA and the national federations during his time as president as well.

Raphaël Martinetti from Switzerland was elected President in 2002. Since that time, Martinetti has supervised the creation of websites and e-mail addresses for all national federations in order to communicate with each other and with FILA. He also oversaw a dramatic change in the rules of amateur wrestling, overhauling the rules for freestyle and Greco-Roman and adding women's wrestling to the list of Olympic sports. A "Master degree" program has also been established to educate persons in wrestling beyond the reams of competition.

Major wrestling sub-disciplines within FILA

Since 1994, FILA has come to set rules and regulations and hold international competitions in the following wrestling styles:
*Greco-Roman wrestling
*Freestyle wrestling (separate committees and competitions for males and females)
*Beach wrestling
*Grappling
*Sambo
* Traditional (or folk) wrestling (recognized separately by FILA, but not overseen by them internationally)

Adaptations to the international regulations set by FILA are usually made by each national federation for all national and regional competitions.

Events, Activities, and Honors

FILA is the body responsible for supervising Olympic wrestling, and so competitions for freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling take place every Summer Olympiad.

Besides the Summer Olympics, there is also the World Cup of wrestling that takes place every year. There are also various Games such as the Commonwealth Games, the Pan-American Games, etc. that have wrestling as an official sport. Also, the Continental Championships and Continental Cups usually take place annual and are regulated by each Continental Committee. Then, there are World Championships that usually take place among the various nations every year (for the senior age category, every year except the year the Summer Olympics are held), and many international tournaments that take place between countries and among wrestlers of the same country (such as the United States Nationals in freestyle and Greco-Roman).

These tournaments encompass a wide variety of age categories and also both genders, but can also take place separately for each gender or for each age category (schoolboys or schoolgirls, cadets, juniors, and seniors).

FILA recognised the Republic of Kosovo as a full member on 9 June. [ [http://www.newkosovareport.com/20080626991/Culture-and-Sports/More-recongitions-for-Kosovo-sports.html "More recognitions for Kosovo sports"] "newkosovareport.com" 28 June 2008 Link accessed 28/06/08]

FILA also sponsors training for athletes in the various wrestling styles at training centers, currently located in Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA Training Center
work =
publisher = FILA
date =
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=62
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accessdate = 2007-08-30
] The International Wrestling Hall of Fame, located in Stillwater, Oklahoma awards individuals with honors in Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, women's wrestling, and officiating. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA - International Wrestling Hall of Fame
work =
publisher = FILA
date =
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/halloffame
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Organization and Governance

FILA is now based in Corsier-sur-Vevey, outside of Lausanne, Switzerland. The official languages are English and French. FILA is governed by a Congress made up of representatives from each of the 174 national wrestling federations (the nation's governing body for wrestling). National federations that at least govern the two Olympic wrestling styles are admitted as affiliate members. Those national federations exclusively govern traditional wrestling and other styles can be admitted as associated members. Up to three representatives from each federation may attend the conference, and only one may vote. The Congress meets at least every two years, usually during the Olympic games or during the World Championships that meet between Olympic games. The FILA Congress in turn elects members of the FILA Bureau and the FILA President. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA Constitution
work = pp. 3-4, 6-7
publisher = FILA
date = 2005-08-31
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/images/documents/reglements/statuts-a-august%2005.pdf
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doi =
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]

The Bureau serves as the directing and administrating body of FILA. The FILA Bureau is composed of the president, four vice presidents, the Secretary General, 12 other elected members (with two seats reserved for women), the Presidents of the five Continental Committees, and an Honorary President who advises but has no vote (currently, Milan Ercegan). Honorary members are also in turn elected to the Bureau but do not vote. The President, the Vice Presidents, and the Secretary General make up the Executive Committee. Each of the members represents himself or herself personally and has an individual vote in the Congress. No two members represent the same nationality (exceptions may be made for the President, the two female members, the Continental Committee Presidents, and the Honorary President). [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA Constitution
work = pp. 8-10
publisher = FILA
date = 2005-08-31
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/images/documents/reglements/statuts-a-august%2005.pdf
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The FILA President manages the day-to-day affairs of the organization. The President represents FILA at international meetings, before the International Olympic Committee, and before the general public. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA Constitution
work = pp. 10-11
publisher = FILA
date = 2005-08-31
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/images/documents/reglements/statuts-a-august%2005.pdf
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-08-30
] The current President of FILA is Raphaël Martinetti from Switzerland, who has served in that role since 2002. Bureau members and the President serve for six year terms and can be reelected. Usually one third of the Bureau members are up for reelection every two years. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
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title = FILA Constitution
work = pp. 9, 10
publisher = FILA
date = 2005-08-31
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/images/documents/reglements/statuts-a-august%2005.pdf
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A Secretary General is chosen by the bureau for six years and is the secondary director of FILA behind the President, serves as secretary of both the Bureau and the Congress, and maintains healthy communication between the national federations, the Continental Committees, the Commissions, and all the departments of FILA. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA Constitution
work = p. 11
publisher = FILA
date = 2005-08-31
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/images/documents/reglements/statuts-a-august%2005.pdf
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-08-30
] The current Secretary General is Michel Dusson from France.

There are also auxiliary bodies of FILA. One group of auxiliary bodies is the Continental Committee, made up of each of the national federations on each continent (currently Africa, Asia, North and South America, Europe, and Oceania). The Continental Committees are directed by an executive bureau composed of a president, vice president, and 3 other members who all serve for a term of four years. Continental Committees meet at least every two years in the year following the Summer Olympics, in which there is usually the Continental Championship. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA Constitution
work = p. 12
publisher = FILA
date = 2005-08-31
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/images/documents/reglements/statuts-a-august%2005.pdf
format =
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Other auxiliary bodies include commissions, which are made of a president, vice president, secretary, and four other members who all serve for four years. Commissions include those dealing with Technical issues; Officiating; Medical Safety and Anti Doping; Promotion; and for Athletes. The members of the commissions are nominated and financially supported by the national federations that they originate from and are generally specialists in the field that the commission supervises. [ cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = FILA Constitution
work = pp. 12-13
publisher = FILA
date = 2005-08-31
url = http://www.fila-wrestling.com/images/documents/reglements/statuts-a-august%2005.pdf
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Controversy

Wrestler Ara Abrahamian of Sweden, who was stripped of his bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics after dropping the medal in protest, has received a level of vindication through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). His protest revolved around a second round bout with Italian Andrea Minguzzi, where a penalty wasn't assessed until after the round had concluded. Abrahamian's coach was denied a chance to review the call via video, and FILA also refused an official protest from the coach. [http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/wrestling/news?slug=ap-wre-abrahamian&prov=ap&type=lgns] Mr. Minguzzi later took gold in the event.

CAS ruled in favor of Abrahamian that in future Olympic matches FILA must have an appeals process that affirms the Olympic Charter in addition to FILA's own rules concerning fair play:

"“FILA is required by the Olympic Charter and its own internal rules, to provide a procedure in its rules for an appeal jury (or some equivalent) to hear promptly claims by athletes or others affected that in a competition the relevant officials have not complied with FILA rules and procedures. Article 22 of its Wrestling Rules may provide such a procedure.

"If so, FILA should clarify that mechanism. In any event, FILA did not follow Article 22 properly, if at all, or provide any other appropriate appeal mechanism in this case. The Athlete is also entitled to invoke the disciplinary process contemplated by Article 36 of the Constitution.”"" [http://www.tas-cas.org/d2wfiles/document/1914/5048/0/Press%20Release%2013.pdf]

In their ruling, the CAS judges specifically noted the absence of FILA officials at the Abrahamian hearing:

"On 21 August 2008, FILA corresponded with the CAS and indicated it was unavailable to attend the hearing at the proposed time and date. In order to allow the attendance of FILA’s officials at the hearing, the Panel offered a different time that would be suitable to all parties. FILA repeated that it would not attend the hearing." [http://www.tas-cas.org/d2wfiles/document/1915/5048/0/Award%20OG%2008%20007%20FINAL.pdf]

Notes

External links

* [http://www.fila-wrestling.com/index.php?lang=en FILA official website (English version)]
* [http://www.fila-wrestling.com/index.php?lang=fr FILA official website (French version)]
* [http://www.filahalloffame.com International Wrestling Hall of Fame]


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