Edited: 12/5/19 2:43 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Member Since: 1/1/01
MMA: The ministry rejects the arrival of combat sport in France
Fans of mixed martial arts will have to wait a few months before seeing their favorite sport land in France. The competitions which were to be initially authorized from the 1st of January, will be finally only from February, or even later still.
France has remained one of the last countries in the world to ban MMA events. A situation that was to change soon. The Ministry of Youth and Sports launched in June a "call for expression of interest" with the federations. The objective was to grant starting 1 January 2020, a delegation for the organization of amateur and competitive practices of this extreme discipline. Sesame for MMA fights in France.
The federations had until November 27 to position themselves. In the end, six showed their interest in the MMA: karate, wrestling, kick boxing (and muay thai), boxing (English), savate (French boxing). The judo federation that had fought the arrival of the MMA, finally gave up .
A commission chaired by Laurent Touvet, Prefect of Haut-Rhin, will be responsible for hearing each federation on behalf of the Ministry of Sports. This is, says the ministry, to distinguish which federation will be able to ensure "optimal conditions of education, supervision and security" for this new practice. But before deciding, the ministry will also await the advisory opinion, expected in February, from the French National Olympic and Sports Committee,
It is only after all these steps that Roxana Maracineanu, the Sports Minister, will make her decision. Will it come at the end of February? In March ? Or later, at the risk of upsetting the first big MMA event expected in France? Indeed, Fernand Lopez, boss of the MMA Factory, an important club based in Paris, has launched its own event: the ARES Fighting Championship. If the first meeting is scheduled for December 14 in Dakar, Senegal, the second is already announced for March 21 in Paris.
"This delay is a shame but we expected it. When a force goes in one direction, there is always a counter-force to oppose," said Lopez, who has already planned a plan B, in case the ministry continues to postpone the legalization of the MMA fights .
"The date of March 21 for the ARES 2 will not change. Even if we want to do it in Paris, we have already booked a large room in a European city to host the event, if necessary. The Ares machine will not stop. Fernand Lopez believes that it is urgent to supervise this discipline and "50 to 70,000 people", according to him, who do MMA in France.